26 November: Riding again… oof!

I guess I was so traumatized that I didn’t mention it before – had a flat tire on the way home on Thursday evening.  My seventh.  I’ve had about enough of this!

Fortunately (or not), it rained cats & dogs through Thursday night, all day Friday, and into Saturday.   My riding was over for the workweek anyway.

On Sunday, I finally got a chance to stop at a bike shop – appropriately named Bicycles of Phoenix – and had a chat with the folks there.  They claimed ignorance of said “solid foam” tube replacements, but told me that there was a granular filling that I could use – but it needs periodic replacing, and is very expensive, oy.  I bought a pair of wicked heavy duty tires (with Kevlar or something else layer that should stop speeding thorns), and a pair of ultra heavy duty tubes, again filled with Slime.

I put them on Monday morning before work.  Holy mackerel, what a fight to get them on – they are so heavy and thick that it was really difficult, and took forever.   When done, I was sore and tired, ugh.  And late!  Had to drive to work.  Grrr.  Oh well.

Oh yeah, they want 45 to 55 lbs. pressure in the tire.  Wow, what a fight!  The foot pump I bought back in early September to pump up my bike tires, has sprung a bad leak in the hose (cheap pump / cheap hose ugh), so had to use my hand pump.  Took a long, long time, and, as I said, very tired when done.

Today I rode on those new tubes & tires.  The tires have a much less aggressive tread than the old knobby mountain-bike type tires, so they ride much more smoothly.   However, there is also a lot more mass there, so I feel like I have to pedal harder. 

The craziest thing is, although there hasn’t been rain for at least 36 hours, the “gravel” and “sand” along the side of the road, is soggy and soft – must be sand mixed with clay!  Oh boy, that 1 km stretch along 7th St., running past the Deer Valley Airport, was a mucky, heavy, strain-filled slog.  That chunk of off-road by the Fedex building was also mucky – leaving a coating on my tires – which flew off as I finished the last 1/2 km on the pavement. 

Later, when dry, of course that muck flew off of the tires like crazy this evening.  Most of the ride was in the dark, but fortunately the sand had dried that much more and was not as bad.  The only downside now is that it appears that some 4x4s have been tooling around back and forth across the shoulder, so there are very deep ruts in the sand & clay.  Almost dumped me on my butt – had to jump off of the bike, ha ha, yikes.

No matter, I made it.  I’m feeling better each day I ride 🙂

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