How To Be Stupid

02.17.2014 | 8:28 am

This story is true. Before I say anything else, you must understand this very important fact. Which is to say, everything I will describe in today’s post actually happened. In fact, it actually happened last weekend.

The second thing you must accept as a crucial part of the premise of this story is this: I am a complete idiot. If you don’t take this second statement as given, you’ll never believe the first part.

Are we clear on both of these facts? Can we continue? Excellent.


Saturday was the day we had been waiting for. A weekend day. Not snowy or rainy. Little wind. Mild temperature.

A good day, in short, for The Hammer and me to — for the first time in what felt like forever — go on a ride.

So, with me on my Tarmac and The Hammer on her Orbea, we rode the 23 miles to the Cedar Fort gas station, bought and shared a coke, and then started riding back.

On the return trip, we always take mile-long pulls, trading off at the mile-marker signposts. It’s a little tradition, one we both like.

“It’s so nice to be able to do this ride without the wind,” The Hammer shouted back during one of her pulls. And she was right.

Precipitating Event

As The Hammer came around for her third or fourth pull, I felt the way my rear wheel rolls change. You know the feeling: it becomes sloppy in the way it tracks, and you start feeling the road vibration much more strongly.

I had a flat rear tire.

“Oh well,” I said, not really terribly disappointed. Flats are easy to fix on road bikes. Meanwhile, it was a nice day out, and I didn’t mind taking a break from riding for five minutes or so.

So I unzipped my Banjo Brothers seat back and pulled out the spare tube I keep, wrapped up in an old cycling sock (to keep the tube from getting a hole rubbed into it). Then the CO2 threaded canister. And then the CO2 valve.

Except there was no CO2 valve.

Why wasn’t there a CO2 valve? 

I sent my mind back — when was the last time I had gotten a flat, and why would I have replaced the tube and CO2 canister, but not put the CO2 valve back in the pack?

I couldn’t even remember. It didn’t matter anyway, not for the moment.

Luckily, The Hammer had a Banjo Brothers seat pack on her bike. “Can you get me the valve out of your seat pack?” I asked The Hammer. “I don’t have one in mine, though I don’t know why not.

“Sure,” The Hammer said, and unzipped her seat pack. Which contained a tube, a CO2 canister, and…nothing else.


Plan B

So, for whatever forgotten reason, at some point in the past I apparently had raided both our seat packs at some point, taking the valves. Then, I had evidently forgotten to ever replace them.

Past-self, know this: I am pretty darn upset with your forgetfulness and irresponsibility.

So there we were, me with a flat and no way for us to fix it. The solution — a lousy solution, but there you are — was obvious.

“You go ahead and ride home (about fifteen miles from where we were),” I said. “I’ll walk my bike to the nearest gas station and buy myself an ice cream cone while I wait for you.”

“But what if I flat between here and there?” The Hammer asked. A good question, but with no good answer. 

“Did you bring a phone?” I asked.

“No,” she answered. 

“So take mine,” I said. “If you flat, you’ll need to call one of the kids to come pick you up.

“I’ll hurry back as fast as I can,” The Hammer said.

“That’s fine,” I said, not really unhappy. Walking’s not as fun as riding, but at least the day was nice. Things could have been a lot worse.

Plan C

I walked for about ten minutes, and then saw a guy riding toward me on the opposite side of the road. Riding a Canondale, wearing an Adobe kit.

Right then, I knew I wasn’t going to have to walk much farther.

As soon as the cyclist saw me, he veered off his line, cut across the four lanes of the road, and hollered the standard greeting cyclists on bikes yell to cyclists who are walking: “You need anything?”

“Do you have a CO2 valve?” I yelled back.

“Threaded,” he said, because by then he was stopped and swinging his leg over his bike.

“Perfect,” I said, and we talked for a few minutes while I changed my tube. As I worked, a couple more riders came by, each yelling the standard offer of assistance, and I thought to myself how great it is that this is somehow part of standard cyclist etiquette.

Before too long I was all set and Ryan and I each resumed our rides, heading in opposite directions.

The Problem With Plan C

As I rode back, I tried to picture how far ahead of me The Hammer might be. How long had I walked before Ryan rescued me? And how long had it taken me to get a new tube in once Ryan had shown up? A total of fifteen minutes, maybe? Possibly more? 

I didn’t really know, but wasn’t worried. I figured I’d just ride the route The Hammer and I always ride, keeping an eye out for my truck.

But then I remembered. 

The Hammer had said, “I’ll hurry back as fast as I can.” 

And The Hammer is usually very literal. Which might mean, it now occurred to me, that when she came to get me, instead of retracing the less-trafficked route we take when we ride, she might drive the shortest route.

Because, of course, she wouldn’t be expecting me to be back on my bike.

Or would she?

Like me, The Hammer was bound to have noticed how many cyclists were there on the road that day, and she knows as well as I do that they often offer to help.

So she might guess that I might be back on my bike.

But that would be just a guess.

And she wouldn’t want to leave me sitting bored at a gas station for any longer than necessary. 

And I didn’t have a phone to let her know what was going on.

“I’ll just have to hope she retraces the route we ride,” I thought, and kept going.

Missed Connection

When I was about half an hour from home, I started watching carefully for the truck, preparing to wave wildly when I saw it.

I did not see it. And as I got closer to home, I was more and more certain that I would not see it. That I would get home just about the time The Hammer got to the gas station where she expected me.

I got home and opened the garage door, hoping against hope that for some reason she had been delayed at home and was still there, thus bringing a ridiculously easy conclusion to this little farce.

Of course, the truck was gone.

So I went to call The Hammer. Except when she had left to pick me up, she had taken both her phone and mine with her.

So I tried the landline. Which failed to work. (Yes, really.)

And then one of the several teenagers living at our house wandered by, his phone in his hand (natch). “Give me your phone,” I said, curtly.

“Why?” He replied, suspiciously.

“Just give me the phone,” I said, the explanation for why I needed it almost ridiculously too complicated in my mind.

I called The Hammer. 

“Hi Nigel,” The Hammer said, answering the phone.

“Nope, it’s me,” I replied.

“Elden? Did Nigel come and get you, then?” 

“No, a rider stopped for me and I was able to get my bike fixed, and I rode home. I guess you must have gone a different way than we ride?”


“So,” I asked. “Where are you?”

“I’m just getting to the gas station now.”


And that’s when I realized what you probably realized about twenty paragraphs ago: I could have stopped at a gas station along the way. Or any of the multitude of fast-food restaurants. Or just about anywhere, really. And I could have made a phone call, letting The Hammer know where I was and what I was doing

But I didn’t. It didn’t even occur to me. I had given my phone to The Hammer and — magically — at that instant all other phones (including the one I probably could have borrowed from Ryan if I’d thought of it) had stopped existing.

And — in spite of the fact that we had seen probably 25 or 30 bikes on the road that day — it never occurred to me to say to The Hammer before she took off on her own, “Hey, on your way back, retrace the regular riding route…just in case someone stops and can loan me a CO2 adapter.”

And…finally…maybe it’s time I realize that owning a small pump that fits in a jersey pocket — not just relying on CO2 to fix flats — might not be a half-bad idea.

But I figure I’ll probably just wait ’til I’ve found myself stranded on the side of the road a few more times ’til I learn that lesson.

Yeah, that’s almost certainly what I’ll do.


  1. Comment by MillionMan | 02.17.2014 | 8:38 am

    I love the new Lezyne hand pumps so much, that I no longer carry C02. They have a bottle cage mount that doesn’t get in the way of anything.

  2. Comment by zeeeter | 02.17.2014 | 9:06 am

    Being a fellow nerdy IT type, I’m sure you will appreciate it’s all about systems redundancy, right? Both CO2 and pump in one cute little package.

  3. Comment by wharton_crew | 02.17.2014 | 9:08 am

    Awww Fatty – that’s not so bad! I’ve done much much dumber things, which inconvenienced many many more people!

    But I do love the insta-fraternity that cycling brings – offering help to complete strangers is awesome. I’m tempted to do it even if I’m in my car when I pass a cyclist repairing a flat.

    In the words of Gary Fisher, “Anyone on two wheels is a friend of mine.”

  4. Comment by Heidi | 02.17.2014 | 10:00 am

    “Give me your phone,” I said, curtly.

    “Why?” He replied, suspiciously.


  5. Comment by ClydeinKS | 02.17.2014 | 10:40 am

    Definitely you are not alone in this situation! I have just recently learned though that I can ride with my floor pump situated in my finely positioned 3rd pocket. Inflating is much quicker than the hand pump and anyone encountered with a flat knows immediately I can assist :)

  6. Comment by Jeff Bike | 02.17.2014 | 10:54 am

    “Give me your phone,” I said, curtly.

    “Why?” He replied, suspiciously.

    This exchange demonstrates one more thing we all need to work on. Taking our frustrations out on those who don’t deserve it. Now go apologize to your teen or you will be sent to time out.

  7. Comment by MC | 02.17.2014 | 10:59 am

    OK Fatty…I’ll bite and ask the question that’s in my mind…what is a CO2 valve? Do you mean the cartridge? (at least that’s what I call it) Just curious…to me (apparently quite a nerdy guy) the valve is the part that you screw onto your valve-stem and lets the CO2 flow…

    Much like Zeter, I carry a CO2/pump combo unit…mine is the Innovations Second Wind MTB…granted it’s not meant for road bikes, so not too great at high pressure..however if I replace the tube and then pump first, I can get it up to around 40psi pretty easily, THEN use a 12g cartridge and get me over 100 which is good for my rear (the front doesn’t need that much, I only run about 80). I carry two 12g cartridges, 1 tube and patches. IF I were so desperate I can patch tubes on the road and pump it prob around 80psi or so w/ that pump which will get me home…OR I can get borrow a tube from someone on the road (such as in last years Davis ride when I flatted twice…I STILL owe Leigh Ann a new tube next time I see her…thanks again for that btw!)

    I will take a look at the Specialized and Lezyne road pump combo units tho, just don’t know if they will fit in my seat bag.

    Great post tho Fatty…I like to hear that others are forgetful and do dumb things too.

    What was I talking about?

  8. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 02.17.2014 | 11:02 am


    Worry not. Life always seams to give you a chance to repeat things until you get them right. I put the over/under on how many more “episodes” like this until you actually buy the hand pump at 7. :)

  9. Comment by John H | 02.17.2014 | 11:15 am

    I have always been stumped by your self published admissions in your past articles. You have constantly stated you would go for very long rides with just a CO2 cartridge. Also I think the “only one phone” thing has come up a couple times too.

    I don’t think I ride as much as you, but I do ride a lot here in Belgium, with a club and solo, and I always have the same minimum:

    small pump, single CO2 and small valve, tube, levers, tool, patches, a few euros in coins, a few euros in paper, bank card, ID, phone. All of that easily fits in my jersey pockets(Seat bags and frame mounted pumps are a bit of a heresy here) When it’s my girlfriend and I, she carries the same. Phones especially! Any crash that can cause you to call an ambulance, can very likely break your phone…so a phone for everyone riding!

    Upside of no seat bags/frame mounts is that you consciously have to load up your jersey pockets every time…so you don’t forget to bring things. For me they all just go into my helmet when I get home. Easy Peasy.

    Great story as usual!

  10. Comment by OneWinded | 02.17.2014 | 11:47 am

    Phatty, This is a very unfortunate situation. Flat tires are a buzzkill, but I was truly saddened by the fact that you made no mention of what flavor of ice cream you bought at the gas sta…you still stopped to get an ice cream cone right?

  11. Comment by just jon | 02.17.2014 | 12:07 pm

    Strategic wrenches/allen keys, levers, one tube (wrapped in a sock), a variety of patches, a mini pump, a few zip ties, and a couple ziplock bags (for the cell phone in case of unexpected rain) reside in my saddle pack at all times. My wallet, cell phone, pocket knife and lucky zippo lighter, are always in my pockets on or off the bike. But then again i never do group rides and almost always am completely solo-frequently MILES from a store or gas station of any kind. I was a little concerned that a coyote seemed to be sizing me up last week. Maybe i should add pepper spray to my packing list…

  12. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 02.17.2014 | 12:59 pm

    It’s not stupid, it’s out of practice. I find my organizational skills get just as out of shape as my legs after longish layoffs. It takes me a few rides to get everything back in sync. I hope to start that process, again, pretty soon here. Incidentally, I never carry a phone on rides – it is one time I enjoy being “alone”, and so far I’ve never really needed it, or someone else has one. Great telling of the story, as usual.

  13. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 02.17.2014 | 1:09 pm

    It’s curious that you would post this embarrassing admission immediately after your you tell us how much can be carried in jersey pockets.

    Your problem with one phone is the reason why I carry a pair of those World War II walkie-talkies in my jersey pockets.

    I hope this helps.

  14. Comment by Demonic1 | 02.17.2014 | 2:10 pm

    so where the HECK is the CO2 Valve?

  15. Comment by aussie kev | 02.17.2014 | 2:39 pm

    Past-self, know this: I am pretty darn upset with your forgetfulness and irresponsibility.

  16. Comment by Noel | 02.17.2014 | 4:14 pm

    I agree with @Mark in Bremerton. Those habits get rusty after a layoff. I went for a one of the first road rides in a while this weekend and it took me several attempts to, as we used to say when I was in the military, “get all my crap in one sock.” And even then I managed to leave without my toe covers.

    @zeeeter Thanks for the tip on the Specialized pump/valve combo. I generally despise frame pumps but that one is pretty sweet.

  17. Comment by Twain | 02.17.2014 | 4:38 pm

    Ditto re: the Lezyne road drive. Don’t even bother with CO2 anymore; too many variables and things to go wrong, and still might run out of air. Road drive fits neatly in middle jersey pocket along with small Lezyne pouch containing one tube, one patch kit, a small Lezyne multitool and $20. These items now are stored in my right cycling shoe between rides (glasses in the left one), thus ensuring, as much as possible, that I actually fill said pockets before heading out.

    As for stupidity in general, I’m approaching 12 years married and have 3 kids (all allegedly mine). My masters in stupidity already is earned; roughly 3 more years to PhD.

  18. Comment by NancyJBS | 02.17.2014 | 4:51 pm

    I have a great device, given to me by my brother, that is both a very bright glowing and or flashy red light and a compact but efficient pump. I am quite fearful of posting a picture of it though because I’m getting a reputation for excessively large pictures (ELPs). So here’s a link to it:

    Why I want to tell you about it is that it’s super cool, but I don’t think possessing one of these would have helped you, Fatty. It needs to be installed. Ah, these early season rides!

    @Dr. Lammier, you may be onto something with the walkie-talkies

  19. Comment by Todd Urbanski | 02.17.2014 | 5:18 pm

    Fatty…first off, long time reader…first time writer. Don’t be so hard on yourself, I think your missing the point here. The real issue is the fact that The Hammer left her phone at home in the first place…and thus had to take yours.

    Now she could blame you for being unprepared, she could call you lazy, or maybe even something worse. But ultimately, you need to have a phone with you for emergencies when riding.

    I’d go right at her with this….but please leave my name out of it. And let me know how it goes.

  20. Comment by MikeL | 02.17.2014 | 5:45 pm

    So you have left us on a cliff hanger again. Is the Hammer speaking to you. An anxious public needs to know.
    I know what my wife’s reaction would have been.

  21. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.17.2014 | 6:09 pm

    Fatty, I recommend you re-read @Nancy-JBS Friday post on “Things That Fit” blog for how to attach a handy air-compressor to your top tube – apparently very timely advice;-)
    Failing that, just get a mini-pump that goes under your bottle holder and always have air: very useful….until you split your tube and realize you forgot to pack a spare!

  22. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.17.2014 | 10:53 pm

    This post today is rather prescient. I left this morning and squeezed the seat bag, no tube, no co2, no valve…What me worry? I had quarters. And sometimes I can find a phone.

  23. Comment by AKChick | 02.17.2014 | 11:18 pm

    Haha! Thanks for the laugh! I’ve always wondered why people use CO2 cartridges. I’ve never used one (they kinda freak me out cause I’d probably screw it up and be without one). I’d rather rely on my good old-fashioned hand pump. I did buy a fancy high capacity Lezyne for my fat tire bike after 300 (yes, I counted) pumps with my regular pump barely got enough air in the tires to ride on the road after exiting the soft trail. Might have to see if it works on the cross bike. I have yet to flat on it, but then again, i run Conti Gatorskins (heavy, yes, but I often ride in remote places where it’s usually only me on my bike). After reading this cautionary trail, I’m def going to stick with my hand pump. :)

    Also, DavidH – that’s awesome!

  24. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.18.2014 | 12:27 am

    Wait! What? That was insanely stupud?! What are you trying to cover up, anyway, Fatty?

  25. Comment by John | 02.18.2014 | 1:43 am

    Most of my riding is solo commuting, at odd hours, so I don’t count on getting any help.

    Standard equipment consists of: frame pump, 2 tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, CO2 inflator, tyre levers, patch kit, spoke spanner, allen keys, and as a last resort in any emergency: a short length of duct tape and a couple of cable ties. And a phone, but I rarely need to use it.

    Believe it or not each of these items has been useful on at least one occasion.

    Why yes, I suppose I am a bit of a “belt and braces” man!

  26. Comment by Phil | 02.18.2014 | 4:29 am

    Topeak Race Rocket HPX. Small, light, has Presta and Schrader adaptor built into the hose, will get you home. I always carry a spare tube, levers and a puncture kit and a multitool, but then I’m not riding a racing bike- my steed is a Genesis Fortitude Adventure built up for commuting.

  27. Comment by TominAlbany | 02.18.2014 | 7:56 am

    … which reminds me of the time I was out of CO2 cartridges and my mini-pump wouldn’t work. I rode on the rim when the road was smooth and walked when it wasn’t. The cyclists’ standard for offering help is awesome. Some guy saw me walking across a street as he was driving by. He stopped and asked if I needed assistance. I told him I had a flat I couldn’t fix. He jumped out of his car and asked what the problem was. I described my plight. He put my bike in the trunk of his brand new car. The trunk was spacious, clean and completely empty – all signs of a new car! He then proceeded to drive several miles out of his way to drop me off at work. It’s a great culture we cyclists are a part of! I learned, on the way to my office, that he’s a mountain biker and works part time at a local shop. A few months later I bought a pair of new shoes off of him and, it turns out, he’s friends with a work colleague as well. Small, wonderful world we live in!

  28. Comment by Papa Bear | 02.18.2014 | 9:26 am

    I cannot get over how generous other cyclists are to their fellows. I have never been flatted or had a mechanical that didn’t elicit an offer of help from someone riding by.

    I always try to return the favor – I need all the good karma I can get.

    Here’s another reason for a frame pump… My brother-in-law was riding to work at 05:00 the other morning, and flatted. He put in the new tube, started to inflate, and the cartridge froze up. The whole tire was useless until he had gotten picked up by his wife and allowed time for the frozen stem to thaw.

  29. Comment by Ron | 02.18.2014 | 9:54 am

    Topeak road morph:

    It has a plastic device that allows it to “clamp” to the top tube, and stay fastened with a piece of velcro. Yeah, your bike isn’t super cool looking anymore with that hanging there, but guess what? You don’t have that problem anymore. The pocket mini-pumps have a hard time getting enough pressure into road bike tires. This thing works, and works well. It’s not *that* big. Mine is 12 years old and still worked fine when I used it 2 weeks ago.

  30. Comment by AUChefDave | 02.18.2014 | 11:11 am

    First, you are neither “stupid” nor an “idiot”. You are just “human”. And like most human, especially those of us who like to cycle, we get caught up in the moment.
    I will make my “Fatty” moment brief, although it needs more words.
    We rarely ever get ice and snow in the south. That said when you are used to riding a least 11 months out of the year and all of a sudden there is this ungodly frozen mess that stops the world, well the first warm day you RIDE! There lies the downfall. There was a new route that I wanted to try before I took our group off into never never land. Off I went, felt great, water bottler, gel and 4 chews. Maps don’t show elevation and trainer can only take you so far. I found this out. 41 miles ran out of water and fuel. Started cramping 12 miles from the house. Hey, I’m a man, I kept pedaling, I’m not stopping to call any one.
    Pain is a hard taskmaster and I’m not sure of the sanity of the person that said “What doesn’t kill you make you stronger”

  31. Comment by Christina | 02.18.2014 | 12:25 pm

    I always call out, “Need any help?” and then do the chant of pleasesaynopleasesayno because all I can offer is tools and very little actual help. Well, I can offer slow help, but no one is usually looking for slow help.

  32. Comment by Eric L. | 02.18.2014 | 12:27 pm

    …so when The Hammer took off for home was she carrying the roasted chicken, the wheel of cheese, or did she leave both to you knowing that a long walk can induce gnawing hunger?

    Did you share from your pocket-of-plenty with Ryan?

    Concerned sports nutritionists everywhere are probably hanging on your answer.

  33. Comment by centurion | 02.18.2014 | 12:49 pm

    Wow, there is a place where a cyclist will stop and ask another cyclist if they need help. I thought I was the only one.

  34. Comment by Andrew | 02.18.2014 | 3:58 pm

    Carry a pump. Or practice riding on flat tires – it worked for Olano:

  35. Comment by Scott | 02.18.2014 | 3:59 pm

    I got to the “Doofus” paragraph and it wasn’t until your reveal that I went, “Ahh!! A different phone. He could’ve used a different phone.” I read the whole story thinking, “Yep. He’s got a real problem on his hands. If only there was a way to communicate.”

  36. Comment by Kukui | 02.18.2014 | 4:01 pm

    One funny thing about cell phones:

    No one bothers to memorize phone numbers anymore. Most of my riding buddies, if they don’t have their phone, they have NO IDEA what their Ride of Shame provider’s number is.

    I’m glad, despite an afternoon of stupidity, you are alright!

  37. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.18.2014 | 4:37 pm

    Next time do what we did…..back in the day! Just remember the better looking one goes out front. Guaranteed! One of you will get a ride.


  38. Comment by (****), currently in the WPP | 02.18.2014 | 11:02 pm

    “…the landline. Which failed to work. (yes, really.)” Paid the bill, right ?

    @just jon, coyote ? I carry (2) FOX 5.3 million SHU.
    @AKChick, me too, CO2 never. However riding remote places consider the ‘above’ in all 3 pockets…oops in your case just 2 pockets.
    Now I’m looking for an adapter to connect pepper spray stream to valve stem to preload tubes in case ursa major or minor happens upon me while I’m doing what bears do in the woods (besides sniffing at my bike trailside when I’m busy). BenThar, more than once.

  39. Comment by bikemike | 02.19.2014 | 5:35 pm

    Patience…blah, blah, blah…virtue…blah, blah, blah.

  40. Comment by Robert | 02.19.2014 | 7:44 pm

    Lol, I could easily see myself doing the same thing. As for CO2’s, I gave up on them last year also, I (cringe, so sorry) mounted a topeak pump on my frame after I had 2 CO’s slip off the tube valve when discharging and found myself walking home (by myself).

  41. Comment by Geo | 02.20.2014 | 10:26 am

    While I appreciate your tutorial, I do a good enough job being stupid on a bike on my own.

  42. Comment by Kent | 02.20.2014 | 11:38 am

    Wow, You actually know each other’s phone numbers? Ever since I started saving them in my phone I haven’t remembered on since.

    Still don’t understand why you did not stop for ice cream after you fixed the flat. I mean really, it’s Ice Cream!

  43. Comment by jim | 02.20.2014 | 5:25 pm

    Hey Fatty!

    If it makes you feel better, I was a complete idiot today on my ride. I locked both my truck and house keys inside my truck. I had to perform the call of shame to my wife while she was at work to bring me my spare key. The worse part of the story is that we actually work together and am dreading Saturday when I get back to work.

  44. Comment by MC | 02.21.2014 | 8:42 am

    One thought for everybody who’s ever had a problem using CO2 and Presta’s (slipping off/leaking your precious CO2 into the world)…I carry one of the little Presta/Schrader adapters…it’s tiny, weighs almost nothing, and I thread it over the Presta, then my CO2 inflator/pump threads onto the Schrader portion…this way you get zero leakage…I’ve never had an inflation go wrong (actually, I have two of the adapters and leave them on my valve stems all the time in lieu of the plastic caps. This way I don’t have to fish around looking for the tiny adapter).

  45. Comment by Libby | 02.21.2014 | 11:08 am

    MC we have the adapters too…I think I have one foe my bike, never needed it. Hopefully hubby put one on. My bike, won’t do either of us any good if the other has it and since he’s faster than I or we go solo.

    Fatty..Ice Cream! That was the biggest “dumb” thing you did, not stopping for ice cream. It makes the world balanced. So remember that. And two CHARGED cell phones (my hubby sometimes rides without it…too heavy he says). I’m not saying you’d ever ride with a dead cell phone, but it could happen. Like I’m sure I’ll be getting a flat now that I’ve said I haven’t had one. On any of my bikes since the late 1970’s.

    Note to self: practice changing flat & get one of those mini-dog beaters.

  46. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 02.21.2014 | 4:10 pm

    Off Topic Observation:
    I have been riding with a few guys a few times a month for years. I am the type of rider who likes to put out a fairly steady wattage throughout my ride, but these guys would always soft-pedal on the flats and then power-surge up any hills. This inevitably meant I’d end up pulling on flats and promptly get dropped on hills. I figured it was just a facet of being a fat cyclist who is gravity challenged. That all changed Jan 1st.

    That’s when I finally upgraded to a smartphone and downloaded the Strava App. Lo and behold, all their surges coincided with Strava segments!
    Essentially, I have been the ‘domestique’ pulling the kings to the bottom of the hills so they could nab the KOM credit and bask in the glory! Well, now that I am clued in, the obvious question is: Do I change my cycling to compete with them, jockeying for position to be a Strava god, or just carry on as before when I was blissfully ignorant? Any advice from FOF?

  47. Comment by SteveB | 02.21.2014 | 4:22 pm

    As I see it you have two options:

    1) ignore it, it really doesn’t matter.


    2) go capture all those KOMs in your car

    anything else is probably too painful.

  48. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 02.22.2014 | 1:22 pm

    Don’t use CO2 cartridges.  Tried ‘em once or twice, didn’t like them, and went back to my Silca Impero with the double-legged Campy head…. which eventually got broken (always make sure things are clear before slamming the trunk lid!) and had to be replaced.  Since I am a long-time Clydesdale myself who still rides a lugged steel frame (STEEL IS REAL!!) I am not concerned with shaving a few grams here and there, so I got my hands on a Zefal HP that fits neatly in the frame triangle up against my seat tube.  And it’s always there, so I’m never going to find that I forgot to replace that cartridge I used on the last ride, or that I forgot to put back the cartridge valve/adapter.

    Sometimes the old school is still the best school.


  49. Comment by Bozidar Spirovski | 02.22.2014 | 1:46 pm

    The basic toolkit for any rider should have includes a pump, not a CO2 canister. A reminder to fatty, that it’s not the first time we read about failed or empty CO2 canisters on this blog.

    Actually, one of the most popular posts on my blog is the minimal toolkit for beginners, which definitely includes a pump :)

  50. Comment by Jeff H | 02.22.2014 | 4:57 pm

    Got a flat this morning. If I had not checked your blog today I would not remembered to replace the spare tube and co2. Thanks

  51. Comment by Chris Jordan | 02.25.2014 | 3:28 pm

    Lots of lessons in that story not the least of which is this is why my wife doesn’t ride because this would most certainly be a week long fight.

  52. Comment by Zach J | 02.27.2014 | 9:57 am

    I bet the guy with the co2 valve also probably had a phone on him. Just sayin.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.