Welcome to Mountain Top. Here, have a flat tire.

mountain top pa pennsylvania

First ride of the year, and the first significant ride in weeks. The predicted temperature was supposed to be in the 60s, but after weeks of freezing in the 20s, I decided to take what I could get. Upper 30s/lower 40s? Sure, why not?! And so began a 50 mile ride. Or so I had hoped.

I work for a computer repair shop in Mountain Top, PA called NEPA Geeks, which is just under 20 miles from where I live. My plan was to do a trial ride and see what it would be like to commute by bike. Also, to pop in and say, "Hi!" to my boss, Jason Percival, who was working today. And then there was the Dunkin' Donuts a few blocks from work... Hey, you need to restore glucose if you don't want to bonk, right? So, off I went.

Being a bit out of shape, and carrying a few extra holiday pounds, I certainly wasn't charging up hills like I was a month ago. Even then, I was hardly one of those guys who'd shift it into the big ring and stand out of the saddle. I honestly don't know how those guys do it... I'm fine with just sitting down and peddling a little faster in the granny gears, especially since this is supposed to be a commute to work, not an intense, 4 hour workout. As long as I get where I'm going, I'm happy. And I was going pretty good, until I heard the dreaded hiss of an inner-tube, rapidly deflating.

12.7 miles into my effort, just as I was rolling past the "Welcome to Mountain Top" sign, as seen at the top of this post, it happened; another inner-tube bites the dust. I blame gravel. Well, I blame myself for not inserting something to cover the hole in the front tire from the last time I had a blowout, but I blame the gravel for getting into the hole and cutting the tube. That is, if that's what happened. I didn't really inspect the damage, I just started walking as I texted my boss.

As luck would have it, he wasn't even at the office -- he'd left an hour early this week. D'oh! The next part of the tale is pretty amazing, though, because after texting Jason to let him know I was a bit stranded at the side of the road, he came all the way back from getting pizza at Maroni's in Scranton just to give me a ride back to Hazleton. Can this guy get any more awesome?

One day, I will make my goal and commute to work by bike. Just not today. Also, invest in a patch kit and frame pump. Let this be my lesson to you.

Hey, look! I figured out how to embed Strava results in a blog post!


D.B. Echo said...

When I used to commute to work in Newark, DE, which is 90% flat and (at least in 1989-1991) a great place for easy commuting, I always had a patch kit and frame pump with me - though the pump was in my backpack, not on the frame. At one point I think my inner tube was mostly patches, giving it lots of extra padding!

Dale Culp said...

@D.B. Echo haha, I can just imagine a tube completely covered in patches. Suffice to say, I learned my lesson after this one. Patch kit and frame pump purchased today. So far, looks like the patch is holding and should be good to go for another few hundred miles.
All in all, I'm kinda shocked that it was road riding that did it, after all the Kirby Park trail riding I did back in November. I definitely did not go easy on the bike, then.

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