The Phone Call of Shame

11.15.2005 | 12:32 pm

The Phone Call of Shame

I was really looking forward to my ride last Saturday. It was the first time in several weeks I’d be able to ditch my fenderized, light-laden, geared bike —in favor of my fixie, my current favorite bike.

When all your riding has been your commute, you start to forget how free a bike can feel. You forget that bike rides don’t have to go anywhere. You forget what it’s like to just carry what you need for the ride, instead of having to pack clothes and food for the day. You forget what it feels like to go riding without a messenger bag slung over your shoulder. You forget what it’s like to ride in daylight, if you live far enough north.


So, around 10:00a.m., I checked my air pressure, stuffed a Clif bar into my left jersey pocket (the one I can get into most easily), a phone into the right (I have a tough time getting into that pocket; I’ve separated my shoulder so many times it’s ruined my range of motion), and a water bottle in the middle pocket. I loaded up the new seat bag I got for this bike (thanks, Banjo Brothers) with a tube and a 16g CO2 cartridge and a twist-on valve. I had everything I needed for my ride.

Or so I thought.

Raise your hand if you already know what I was missing.

OK, put it down. I was just kidding. You look silly with your hand in the air like that.

That said, you for sure don’t look as silly as I was about to feel.

The Joy of Riding in Solitude

Not everyone likes riding alone. I do. Riding’s when good ideas come to me, or, when I’m lucky, when I stop having ideas at all. I don’t have an MP3 player; for me riding and music don’t mix.

So after a quick couple miles of descending from the Sammamish plateau, I was in farmland, riding the quiet country roads of Sammamish, Carnation, Fall City and Snoqualmie. It’s perfect terrain for fixies: fairly flat, with occasional climbs and descents to keep things interesting. The requirement of keeping a smooth cadence occupies you just enough that you start spinning smoothly, and soon you stop having the cranks reminding you that coasting is strictly against the rules.

Bliss, Interrupted

I was enjoying the independence of riding alone — exploring the area, picking turns at random, going where I wanted to go at the pace that felt right for the moment — when the rear wheel went flat.

“I need to change out these tires for Armadillos,” I thought, as I rolled to a stop. There’s so much debris on the road this time of year. I unzipped my bag and got out the tube, air cartridge, and valve.

I wasn’t upset; changing out a tube on a road bike is a quick, easy task.

Except there was one slight problem: I didn’t have a wrench.

As a rider who has never had anything but quick release skewers, making a wrench a part of my tube-change kit hadn’t even occurred to me.

In short, I had a flat, in the middle of nowhere, without any way to fix the flat.

To the Rescue

I just stood there for a minute, unable to believe my stupidity. Here I was in a beautiful place to go ride, at a beautiful time to ride, with a beautiful bike for riding. And I could not ride my bike.

That just seemed wrong.

And also, I hated myself.

Not having a MacGuyver gene, though, I couldn’t see a way around it. My ride was done, just as it was getting good. I got out my phone and called my wife.

Now, I should say that I normally really enjoy talking to my wife on the phone. We have plenty to say to each other. But whenever I’ve had to call to say I need rescuing, she knows the conversation is not going to contain lots of cheerful banter, because I am simultaneously doing the following:

  • Admitting I have not prepared adequately
  • Confessing I am a poor mechanic
  • Showing that I am not the self-sufficient, independent soul I like to imagine myself being while I am on the bike
  • Losing brownie points by the truckload, because not only am I not contributing to the care and feeding of the children at that moment, I am being yet another needy child who needs her help.

Suffice it to say: making the call for help is not my favorite thing to do.

Imagine my joy, then, when as I was talking with my wife — trying to explain the complex series of turns I had made to get onto this particular farm road — another cyclist rolled to a stop beside me and asked if I needed any help.

“Do you have a wrench?” I asked doubtfully, pointing toward my rear wheel’s axle.

He did. He did!

“I’ll call you back in a minute,” I told my wife.

Thanks, Alex

The helpful cyclist’s name is Alex, from the Netherlands. As we both worked on my first fixie tube change — which went smoothly, to my relief — he told me he’s getting ready to do an IronMan in New Zealand this March. It’ll be his first non-sprint-length tri. Good luck, Alex, and thanks for use of the wrench.

Once the tire was on, I inflated it in 2.2 seconds — I really, really love CO2 — and he took off in the other direction. I called my wife and told her that my ride had been salvaged.


It was starting to rain, but not hard: more like a humidifier set on super-duper-high. The nice thing about the flat I just had was that it happened at the highest point of the ride; I was able to get up to speed and into a biking groove fairly quickly. I cruised through farmland, spun through the town of Carnation and then through Carnation Marsh, looking for the bald eagle I sometimes see there. Not today.

Finally, I got back to Highway 202. I could turn left and head toward Snoqualmie Falls; that’s a beautiful ride. Or I could go straight and ride along Issaquah/Fall City Road. That’s steep, but another great ride. Or I could turn right and head home. I turned left; I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that much climbing in a fixie today.

And that’s when I got my second flat.

With no wrench, no CO2 cartridge, and no tube, this time my ride was over.

I could see no way out of it. It was time to make The Phone Call of Shame. I called my wife and told her I was stranded. She told me she was out shopping with the kids, but would cut it short and come get me. Which means that in addition to the other things I hate about making this call, I now got to deal with the fact that I was actually making her rejigger her schedule stop doing something productive (well, technically it was more consumptive than productive, but it needed doing) to come and rescue my sorry, helpless self.

The Theory

It would be about 45 minutes ‘til my wife would get from where she was to where I was, during which I had time to think: I haven’t always had a mobile phone. What would I have done with this situation if I didn’t have the mobile phone crutch? Walk all the way home? Maybe. Knock on a door and call my wife from there? Maybe, but it wouldn’t have done any good — in the pre-mobile phone scenario, my wife would have still been out shopping.

Or would I, perhaps, maybe been better prepared? I mean, it’s not like this was some crazy, impossible-to-anticipate emergency. A double flat on scree-rich roads is not unheard of.

Yeah, that’s probably the answer. I’ve replaced bike tools with a phone, and now I was dealing with the consequences: instead of riding, I was taking my bike for a walk. It’s not a dignified picture: a middle-aged guy in tights, walking beside his bike awkwardly because of his stiff-soled shoes and monster-sized cleats (I use Speedplays on my road bike, which are great when you’re riding and terrible when you’re walking).

The Resolution and Questions

Today, I’m buying a toolkit (including a wrench) and Armadillos for the track bike. I don’t want to have to make The Phone Call of Shame again anytime soon.

I’m sure, of course, that I’m the only one who’s had to make The Phone Call of Shame, and doubly certain that I’m the only one who’s had to make it for such a lame reason. And I’m absolutely sure that I’m the only one who has seriously mixed feelings about having a phone along for the ride at all.


PS: OK, now go vote for me.


  1. Comment by plum | 01.23.2009 | 12:44 pm

    Fatty – don’t settle for just one wrench. Head to Sears and get a Stubby wrench. They offer traditional and ratcheting varieties, and they are the smallest, most practical solution. I wouldn’t ride or race without it.

  2. Comment by | 01.23.2009 | 12:46 pm

    I actually remember the original post (yes, I’ve been following you for that long!)
    I made my own call of shame last week. On a whim I decided to do some climbing, which added another 2 hours to my ride. Unfortunately, I “forgot” that I had little food and limited water. Good news: I was 10 minutes faster up the hill. Bad news: had to call the BF to come get me due to cramping.

    I think of your family often. Keep taking care of them, and try to take a little time to take care of yourself too.

  3. Comment by Chris in PA | 01.23.2009 | 1:00 pm

    I really resist the phone. First of all there is nothing worse than riding some sweet single track, in the zone, only to have the dang thing start ringing. I do bring it when I solo ride – I think it makes my wife feel better and it seems the responsible thing to do. But still it seems like two universes that just shouldn’t intersect.

  4. Comment by Scott McQ | 01.23.2009 | 1:05 pm

    I can one up on that – the two times I’ve been way out and blew both tires, were the two times I thought to myself, “I won’t need my cell today”.

    Two very long walks.

  5. Comment by Michael in TN | 01.23.2009 | 1:06 pm

    The phone call of shame is always paired with the Walk of Shame. You are right, there is nothing more humiliating than walking down the street in a ridiculous outfit(for anything except actually being on a bike) while cars whiz past you. Everytime a car goes by I can just hear the conversation inside the
    “Did you see that idiot in the spandex?”
    “Yea, why is he wobbling like that and why is he taking his bike for a walk?”

  6. Comment by frilly | 01.23.2009 | 1:13 pm

    I just got a cell phone, yep that’s right never had one. My Mom gave it to me for Christmas because she worries that something will happen when I’m out riding. For sure, now something will happen and guess who I’m calling? Seems about right.

  7. Comment by Jeff | 01.23.2009 | 1:20 pm

    I hate making that call. That’s why when I get a flat, I often head straight home before I get another that strands me.

  8. Comment by Eric P | 01.23.2009 | 1:26 pm

    I had the same thing happen to me on an early ride on my fixed gear: flat but no wrench. The idea of needing a wrench never crossed my mind until I flipped the bike over and reached for the QR and …. doh! My call of shame was counterbalanced by the fact that my wife got ridiculously and (she freely admits) stupidly lost while coming to get me, turning what should have been a (at most) 15 minute wait into an hour wait, making us both very late for work. I also hit a new low while waiting by the side of the road in a somewhat scruffy part of town watching a group of homeless guys get no end of amusement watching this nice clean cut guy in skin tight shorts standing hopelessly by the side of the road. They even offered to look around for a tube!

    And it even happens to the Rich and Powerful. A few years ago someone in the DC bike club posted a message about seeing Senator Kerry stranded on the side of the road heading into DC with a flat and talking into his cell phone. We had much fun imagining his Call of Shame to Teresa. Or maybe he was able to make a Command Call to some intern to come bail him out without any shame at all. Anyway, getting flats, riding without enough tools/supplies and having to make the Call of Shame are facts of life (at least for us males) regardless of your station in life.

  9. Comment by Aaron | 01.23.2009 | 1:35 pm

    Aaaahhhh, that post takes me back. I too, used to live in the NW. And I have ridden those roads out near Carnation many times. Luckily, the only “rescue call” I have had to make was last summer. Our ride turned out to be longer than we thought, and we were caught out in 110 degree sunshine, out of water.

  10. Comment by Phatty Patty | 01.23.2009 | 1:39 pm

    So when this happens to you again Elden, heres what your gonna do. Obviously your gonna leave your wheel on the bike, so undo the bead of the Tire pull the tube out find the leak, and tie the tube in a knot where the hole is (so the air cant get to it) put the tube back into the tire seat the bead carefully, then ride over to Racers where I will be glad to put a new tube in for you, and equally excited about “your Ingenuity”
    remember in any situation to think outside the box.

  11. Comment by mair | 01.23.2009 | 1:55 pm

    Do Americans not patch tubes?

  12. Comment by sdcadbiker | 01.23.2009 | 1:59 pm

    If you call your wife for a ride to the ER is it still a “call of shame”? I once rode home after a crash, with two broken ribs and a broken nose; I got the “talk of shame” from Mrs because I _didn’t_ call her…

    It’s worse if you break something on a MTB because then you not only have to make the call, you have to hike back to the trailhead too!

  13. Comment by Phatty Patty | 01.23.2009 | 2:07 pm

    I forgot to mention that you need to pump the tire back up in my previous post. ha ha dont forget that step its kinda important.

  14. Comment by Minx | 01.23.2009 | 2:23 pm

    Can I just say thank you for letting us in on the secret that was Pistols and Popcorn? Your sister rocks! But you knew that…

  15. Comment by Kathleen | 01.23.2009 | 2:41 pm

    Love this post! Timeless and entertaining, as always.

    Congrats to sis for landing a spot!

  16. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.23.2009 | 2:57 pm

    About 26 years ago, I was starting on an epic ride with another engineer from work. 80 miles to the coast, sleep on the beach, and 80 miles back. (Speaking of backs, I probably would question the need to do this today, for fear of back pain.)

    My bike was not a fixie, but it did feature horizontal drop outs and no QR skewers. My buddy, who did have QRs, took one look at my heavy toolkit, and said leave that here – I have tools.

    When I flatted, he found out I needed a wrench, and I found out he didn’t have one. We pulled one side of the tire bead off, in place, pulled the tube out that side, found the hole and patched it. Kind of what Phatty Patty was suggesting, only enhanced since we did have a patch.

    Since then I have dicovered QRs and CO2. But have had enough Calls of Shame that I generally carry tools, patches and pump these days.

  17. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.23.2009 | 3:00 pm

    mair – depends on the American. I don’t quit patching them until the patches are touching!

  18. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 01.23.2009 | 3:15 pm

    I voted.

  19. Comment by Nathan | 01.23.2009 | 3:25 pm

    People carry a lot less today, probably because of the phone. A few old-school things that I still always carry:
    - patches, but the quick ones from Park
    - a pump, but this cool little one from crankbros.
    - a small chain tool. An idea someone suggested the other day is to also carry a quick link, like this from SRAM.
    - CASH. I know a lot of guys that just carry a credit card. Venture too far from society and you might find someone that doesn’t take plastic. Also, the good thing about a dollar is you can boot a torn tire with it.

    I have hitched a few rides home before.

  20. Comment by Jeff Kowalski | 01.23.2009 | 3:30 pm

    I’m not interested in voting. Looks like you’re pretty intent on cashing in…considering that the quality of posts on this blog has also gone down.

    I wonder why so many of the good sports blogs didn’t make it in Bloggies. I think I like the weblog awards better. So many better blogs to read…

  21. Comment by Linda | 01.23.2009 | 3:33 pm

    I have a reverse situation myself. For some reason I always bring my cell phone on a ride but if something ever happened, I really would have no one to call. I also bring 5 bucks which doesn’t help out in the middle of nowhere but it’s a security blanket I guess. At least I could then say that I was prepared even though I couldn’t use anything I brought.

  22. Comment by Charisa | 01.23.2009 | 3:58 pm

    Ahhh yes, the call of shame is always a fun one to make – especially if you are on the top of a mountain very far away!

  23. Comment by fatty | 01.23.2009 | 4:00 pm

    jeff kowalski – thanks for your helpful comment. i’ll have a word with my quality assurance guy right away. i’ve had a hunch lately that he’s slacking off, which may be responsible for the fiscal problems i’ve had with my masterful “get rich by giving away bikes and asking my readers to donate to the Lance Armstrong Foundation” plan.

  24. Comment by CoolScreenNametoCome | 01.23.2009 | 4:02 pm

    I always bring a cell phone when I ride – road or mtb. So far I have not had to make the call of shame, but I have had to purchase two new phones. I used to just put it in one of the side pockets in my jersey. That worked out well until I hip-checked a rock wall mtbing one day. I was the proud owner of one working cell phone with no screen. It was justification to get one of the original iPhones, and a new tool bag with a padded pocket for a cell phone. That also worked well until I unzipped the pocket at the end of a ride (same ride as a matter of fact) to get out my car keys – but not the phone. As I lifted the bike on to the top of the car, out slides the iPhone. One 6 foot free fall to a face down landing on a gravel parking lot. Now I own 2 cell phones with smashed screens. I do like my new 3G iPhone…

  25. Comment by dug | 01.23.2009 | 4:18 pm

    jeff, you’ll know elden’s cashing in when it costs you money to read this page. right now it only costs you your precious time. which you must have plenty of, if you’re still here, reading such drivel.

    unfortunately, your presence costs the rest of us the good mood we used to be in.

  26. Comment by TC | 01.23.2009 | 4:22 pm

    I made that call yesterday. Different story- but I had to make the call.

  27. Comment by Megan | 01.23.2009 | 4:42 pm

    Its always better to be able to make the call than not to be able to make the call. The only time I’ve ever riden without my phone was also the only time I’ve ended up in the hospital. Not a good combo.

  28. Comment by Animator Thom | 01.23.2009 | 4:55 pm

    In pre-cell phone days, I once double flatted in a torrential rainstorm 20 miles from home. Fortunately, someone took pity on my pathetic state and gave me a ride. That was the last time that I ever did the “I’m not going to let a little torrential rainstorm from stopping me ride today” ride.

  29. Comment by Redheadedstepchild | 01.23.2009 | 4:56 pm

    Every bike I have has a wedgie with a tube, glueless patches, and a minitool. I’ve got a mini pump I cary.

  30. Comment by Redheadedstepchild | 01.23.2009 | 4:58 pm

    Oh, and I ride gatorskins. Anybody want to compare/contrast? Fatty, can you get the QA/QC guy on that?

  31. Comment by Jodi | 01.23.2009 | 5:51 pm

    The websites I go to throughout the day are breeding grounds for snark and bite, even the best ones. It all seems appropriate on those, because it is kind of what people sign on for by visiting them.

    But here – it’s just out of place. Jeff K., you obviously need something from Fatty’s readers (attention I guess?). I have to wonder why you even bothered writing or visiting. But I won’t wonder for too long because I’ve got better things to do, like support my brother in sharing stories that are sometimes funny and sometimes sad but always well told.

    I also want you to know I feel kind of sorry for you. Taking some emotionally misplaced aggression out on an absolutely non-controversial blog focused on fighting cancer is a petty, weak, shallow and pathetic thing to do. Hope things take a turn for the better for you soon.

  32. Comment by Jodi | 01.23.2009 | 5:53 pm

    Oh yeh….

    And Elden,

    It is so nice to revisit a time when Susan was out with the kids and shopping and waiting on you. Thanks for re-posting this.

  33. Comment by jon | 01.23.2009 | 6:15 pm

    guys… ignore him. I don’t think he’ll waste his time on this low quality garbage for long, now that he’s seen Elden’s win-at-all-costs true nature.

    Fatty… I knew where that story was going. As far as the double flat, well, I can _almost_ always avoid that, because, after one flat, I call it a day and head home. I rarely have the second tube, and my patches generally don’t work great. So I figure, If you double flat, it’s just not your day. Call, but don’t be too ashamed.

    SPECIAL CASE: if you double flat as soon as you put the new tube in, because you forgot to pull out the thorn/glass/wire that was puncturing your tire, you deserve the shame. But you — meaning I — probably won’t make that mistake again.

    Keep riding and keep writing. And WIN!

  34. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 01.23.2009 | 7:11 pm

    Wake up Jeff!

    Hah. A Wiggles joke from an Australian. But really, wake up Jeff. There’s sarcasm in them thar hills.

    As for the call(s) of shame… my OCD requires that I carry a complete spare bike with me in case of such occurances. And the spare bike also has a full workshop in the 8 cubic foot seatbag.

    Although in the past 12 months I’ve made 2 such calls. A broken spoke in a wheel with a low spoke count is an automatic DNF. And I just didn’t have to the tools to repair a broken pedal axle.

    And just to reiterate, WAKE UP JEFF!!!

  35. Comment by Michael in TN | 01.23.2009 | 7:33 pm

    Fatty, I think your QA guy is doing a fine job. He needs a raise from all that cash you are sure to be raking in!
    By the way, thank you for introducing me to Dug’s blog. Hysterical. I just read Mr. Green Jeans the other day and could not stop laughing.

    Win Susan!

  36. Comment by ShedBiker | 01.23.2009 | 9:46 pm

    Two calls I’ve made. Once on the road, I was 3 miles from home and realized I didn’t have my helmet! Not wanting to ride another 3 lid-less miles back to get it, I made the call.

    Another time, I ripped my leg wide open on a solo MTB ride in the Frederick (MD) Watershed. That call was to 911. The helicopter couldn’t drop the basket through the canopy, so some firefighters hiked in to carry me out (about 2 miles). The first thing one of them did when he got to me was sit down on a boulder and light up. I thought to myself, “You’re going to carry ME out of the woods?” Kudos to those guys though – they were great.

    I always carry my cell.

  37. Comment by RachelGio | 01.23.2009 | 10:02 pm

    I’m with you 100% that music and riding don’t mix. All the wonderful things I would have missed, good and bads sounds. How do you engage the world with your ears all blocked up? How do you solve problems while you’re gettin’ down to the groovy beat. Ah well…I’ll think about that while I ride tomorrow.

    I ALWAYS!!! carry my cell

  38. Comment by RachelGio | 01.23.2009 | 10:04 pm

    ps…i’m with dug on jeff (insert raspberry noise)

  39. Comment by Eric in Portland, OR | 01.23.2009 | 11:17 pm

    Fatty, you probably didn’t see in the Salt Lake news that we had some pretty bad flooding in the PacNW a couple of weeks ago. Hwy 202 was completely washed out right near Falls City:

  40. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 01.24.2009 | 5:00 am

    Fatty I’m with Jodi it was great to go back to when things were more normal for you and the family. It’s just your turn to help Susan now only she has nothing to be ashamed about.
    I’m also with Jodi and Dug on the other matter – Kowalski why bother? If your not smart enough to get what is going on here you probaly aren’t smart enough to vote anyway you muppet.

  41. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 01.24.2009 | 5:13 am

    I’m not that smart either did not check my typing – probaly = probably.

    Quick Lance update – in the space of less than two weeks he has motivated our Govt’s (State and Federal) to put up or shut up for Cancer Research. They have just announced in conjunction with Livestrong the establishment of a large Cancer research facility within one of our major Medical Centres. Over 100 staff looking into both medical and holistic treatments.
    Not only that but he is looking very impressive on the bike. He won’t win here but he has been involved in everything – give him a couple more months and he will be a serious contender.
    The legend has been legendary on all fronts whilst here in Adelaide – love him or hate him he has been brilliant.

  42. Comment by the weak link | 01.24.2009 | 8:12 am

    I dutifully voted for those categories you asked us to. I was not familiar with 90% of the blogs so I didn’t vote in most categories.

    I couldn’t help but notice that there might have been a bit of an ideological bias in the nominations of most categories.

    I was waiting for “Greatest Presidential Blog/Wesite of All Time”:

    I suppose that’ll be listed next year.

    Not complaining, just sayin’.

  43. Comment by MOCougFan | 01.24.2009 | 10:52 am

    Hate the call of shame. Especially when I have to make it and I’m not real sure which country road I’m on.

    Jeff K… bad move. You just inherited a bunch of flats. That is if you ride. Which I doubt. Better make sure your jack works.

  44. Comment by Jeff Kowalski | 01.24.2009 | 6:39 pm

    Bah cancer research. Cancer is not cycling. You’re nothing but a foot soldier for the ex-doper Lance Armstrong. Won’t be recommending this blog to anyone for sure.

  45. Comment by Paul Franceus | 01.24.2009 | 10:56 pm

    I managed to avoid the call of shame myself once. I was biking to work and about 5 miles out, my chain broke. No problem, I thought, I have a chain tool in my seat bag.

    Imagine my surprise when at that moment I looked at the seat and there was no bag! I had left it on the other bike. Damn. I ended up walking up and coasting downhill for the next 5 miles. Thankfully there was a bike shop right down the street from the office and I was able to get a new chain.

  46. Comment by Dobovedo | 01.25.2009 | 7:21 pm

    Geez, Fatty, why couldn’t you have re-published this 3+ year old story a week, or even a day, earlier?

    How ironic that on the same day you did publish it, I would discover the same hand-to-forehead slap-inducing moment when you realize that you need a wrench to change a tube on a fixie.

    I have one now.

  47. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.25.2009 | 7:28 pm

    Jeff – I think there is a suppository in your ear. And I know where you hearing aid is.

  48. Comment by Di | 01.26.2009 | 9:02 am

    Ahh the call of shame… Imagine being a grad student, taking a ride to a lake some hour away to get a little open water swim in for the tri your doing 5 months from now… and getting double flats b/c you looked up and managed to miss all the glass on the shoulder left for you by some gracious, amazing TX driver. Never having changed a flat as your new to cycling (less than 1 month) and although the guy at the store where said new bike was purchased showed you how to change it you don’t remember.. and being new to town the only person you have to call is your new boss… talk about great impressions… 3 years later, I have still never changed or patched, or gotten a flat.. and I realize that this means i’ll get a double tonight on my way home from work.. but maybe its time I learn to fix them…

  49. Comment by Adrian | 01.26.2009 | 6:42 pm

    I’m not that fond of CO2 cartridges, although I’ve never used one I’ve come across quite a few discarded ones at the side of the track, together with dumped tubes with a puncture in them. I’ve also watched the unamused expression as another rider showed me just how quickly his CO2 cart. inflated his tyre… or would have done if he’d attached it properly. I leant him my pump.

    Sadly, a few too many people seem to treat any ride they’re on as a full-on race where some magic clean-up crew will pick up all the rubbish they dump. If you’re not racing then a pump works just as well, and it’ll work more than once.

  50. Comment by Tony | 01.26.2009 | 10:13 pm

    Yeah, I’ve made that phone call too. Not because I forgot a wrench. I forgot how far I was really capable of riding and cramped up severely about 60 miles into a 100 mile ride. Fortunately my wife was home and able to come get me. I think I’m now more capable of correctly judging how far I can push it given whatever training I’ve been doing, or haven’t bee doing.

  51. Comment by Graham Elliott | 01.27.2009 | 4:43 am

    Hi There,
    I would recommend getting Continental Ultra Gatorskins and a Campagnolo Track Nut “Spanner”, (Wrench) ! I have never had a flat on my fixed gear commute with these tires. As for the Campagnolo wrench well you’ll probably spend more time admiring it than using it, but it does work.

  52. Comment by Anonymous | 01.29.2009 | 12:22 pm

    My wife & I were riding road bikes on New Poag Road, double-digit miles from home, when I heard my rear tire go. Before I could fully stop, her rear tire went, too. I had a mini-pump & we each had a spare tube, so no problem. Except her puncture was more of a tire slash, & I was afraid to give it much pressure. We rode another few miles before I realized that I’d have to switch her tires, back to front & front to back. That’s 4 tire changes so far. When we got home, I mounted a new rear tire for her. That’s 5. The next day I had another flat, which is how I changed 6 tires in 24 hours. You get fast.

  53. Comment by CLBlood | 01.29.2009 | 12:23 pm

    Sorry! – “Anonymous”


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