It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I decided to jump start my workout plan by digging my bike out of the garage for a short ride to our neighborhood fitness center. I had joined a "100 miles to nowhere" race to be held in May, so I really needed to get back to riding. I dusted off the sawdust, brought the water bottle in to wash it and fill it with clean, cool water; pumped up the tires, put my cell phone, some change and an ID into the bike pouch and took off.
About 2 miles into my ride I looked down to grab my water bottle and was greeted by the empty cage. My nicely cleaned bottle was not there, in fact I knew where it was, on my counter, at home, right where I left it after I dried it off. No bother, I would be at the fitness center in another few miles and they have water there. As I rode, I realized that I really need to ride more often, my legs were tiring easily. I was having to ride with my mouth open, to get enough oxygen to my lungs. You know what else gets into you mouth when it is wide open? Little bugs. The tiny black ones that stick in your throat, that are so small you really can't cough them up, but still are big enough to annoy you. The one that flew into my mouth reminded me of a piece of popcorn kernel skin stuck in my throat. If I only had a drink to wash it down.
I approached the center, with one more turn to make, and heard a loud "pop". Yup, my tire blew out. No worry, I have a repair kit and tools in my bike pouch for this type of emergency. Only one thing could stop me, a hole at the tube stem. You can't patch those. I peaked under the tire to see if I could see or hear where the hole was. I saw neon green ooze bubbling out of ....you guessed it, a hole at the tube stem. I'm not sure what the green stuff was, possibly "self-sealing" material to fill small holes. All I know is it was not able to stop the air from escaping from my tire. In defense of my tire tube, it had done an admirable job of holding air for the last 15 years. It was the original tube, so I really am not surprised that it did pop. I think the rubber just weakened over time at a point of stress.
Luckily, as I stated before, I had packed my cell phone. I called hubby for a ride and waited patiently in the shade. I hadn't had plans for my day before, but I'm thinking I might now, a stop at the local bike shop.