Monday, September 13, 2010
Rockaway Debacle: On Being Prepared
I shudder to think about my most recent flat tire fiasco. Two weekends ago I rode with DOBC to the Rockaways. This is a pleasant ride from Park Slope/Prospect Heights area because you can take the protected bike greenway on Ocean Parkway almost all the way to the Rockaways.
I should have known the morning was doomed because, when I woke up, I had a horrible hangover and I was in a fight with my girlfriend. I had work looming over my head (LSATs) but since I knew I wouldn't do anything productive, I headed over to meet DOBC. I spoke dismissively with a friend about how I had been getting so many flat tires, but I had just bought new Continental Gatorskins and was feeling confident.
On the long bike path that runs alongside Flatbush Avenue, before you hit the Marine Parkway Bridge, I heard the dreaded "pop." Considering the terrain we had been going over - the path turned to sand at one point, and the sidewalks are pretty choppy - I shouldn't have been surprised. Unfortunately, I was unprepared. Fooled by the thought of my protective new Gatorskins (C'mon! They're called Gatorskins!), I just didn't have anything with me - no tube, no patch, no pump. Also, I ride baby tires, so any old 700c tube wouldn't do..
My bro Dez stayed with me as we started the 2 mile trek towards the beach. Now I was hot, hungover and keeping my friends from getting to the beach. At one point a very friendly and enthusiastic biker chick stopped and tried to patch my tube with her friends (Emily, wherever you are, I will come cheer you on at the track). My other bro, Candice, rode back and forth over the bridge to bring me a patch kit. The tire had popped along a seam and the glue from the patches weren't sticking. Emily and her friends were able to repair it enough for me to get over the bridge, and I rode with a flat tire along the beach's boardwalk.
After a few hours of sunbathing and watching many, many drunk gay men strut around in tiny bathingsuits, we headed home. My friend Heidi walked the 60 small blocks to the subway with me. (Hell yea, hell yea). All I could think of was how I didn't want to be a burden to my bike friends again.
Enter: Bike Nashbar. I have been getting promotional e-mails from Bike Nashbar and Pricepoint.com for quite a while, but I hadn't bought anything from either website. They offer bike parts and accessories at a discounted price and they have a wide range of products. I tend to think of these stores as being geared towards the Dad riders - people who work in the financial district and buy fancy Trek road bicycles. Whether or not this is accurate, they have some good deals. I bought two tubes, a patch kit, glueless patches, and a small hand pump for $22.50. I also got a really cute pair of gloves for K (I think BikeSnob would enjoy the knuckle tattoo theme:)
I am finally coming to the realization that bicycles, like any vehicle, require emergency repair kits. Usually I just get angry and think that I am the only person who suffers from flat tires. Now I have my Chloe bike bag stocked for the next ride. No more walking to the beach.