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Ride Interrupted

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I headed out at 7:30 this morning for a 40-mile ride on some of my favorite back roads. It was going to be an easy ride, stopping along the way to take pictures. Every time I've ridden this route I've seen deer in the fields and often there are turkeys, too. I was not disappointed today. I stopped to take a picture of a deer, but when I un-clipped my shoes, it startled the turkeys (that I didn't see) that were in the field, too. When the turkeys flew off, they startled the deer and it bounded into the woods.

There is a buffalo farm at the top of the mountain. They are such majestic animals. Imagine what it must have looked like to see thousands of these animals roaming the plains.

About 5 minutes after stopping to take this picture, I heard a huge "bang." My tire and tube were blown. For a minute, I thought one of the CO2 cartridges had exploded, but then remembered that I only brought my hand pump. So I got off the bike and started to get my tools out. And that's when I realized it was going to be a long walk home. I forgot to transfer all the repair gear from the hybrid to the road bike--I had a tube patch kit and a pump, but no tire levers or tire patches. I was 9 miles from home on a road where there is rarely a car, and I have never seen another cyclist. I was hoping I wouldn't have to walk the entire 9 miles--if I got down to the main road, about 3.5 miles, I might be able to catch a ride home. (I had my cell, but DH wasn't home.)

I could not believe my eyes when 2 minutes later 2 cyclists crested the hill. (I've ridden this route many times and have never seen other cyclists.) They stopped and asked if I wanted help. Another surprise--they were employees of a local bike shop! In just a few minutes they had a new tube inserted and a temporary fix on the tire--enough to get me back home.

I will never leave home again without checking to see if I have ALL of my emergency gear. Tomorrow I'll stop at the bike shop to pick up a new tire and deliver home made cookies to the 2 cycling angels.

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