I had my first flat tire in almost 10,000 miles of bicycle trips today. It didn’t take to long to fix. I carry spare tubes in the bag on my bike along with all the tools that I need. Instead of a pump I use a little Co2 canister about the size of my thumb and an attachment that I screw on the canister that fits the valve stem on my mike. I push the button on the tool and the contents of the little canister fill my bicycle tube up to about 80 lbs, and off down the rode I go. The back tire on my bike is about worn out but I only have a few more days to go so I am reluctant to put the new one on yet, but I I am pretty sure the flat was caused by a little sharp rock that penetrated my tire. It won’t take long, I probably should to be safe.
I saw a big black bear dead along side of the road today, probably hit by a car. He hadn’t swollen up or started to smell yet so it probably last night some time when he was hit. I thought if I had a sharp knife on me, I would have skinned him out. That would have been a load to carry on my bike.
We rode from McGregor Lake to Libby, Montana today, 60 miles. It was a gorgeous trip in regards to scenery, Montana is a beautiful State. Most of the miles were flat and downhill with just a dozen or so miles that were uphill so it was a an easy day, I don’t think I ever broke a sweat in the 60 miles. The sun was out with no rain, no mosquitos, dogs, and just a few miles of rumble strips.
I have one more thing to add to my “Hate List”, those things that I really don’t like much on a bicycle trip. Rain, bugs of any kind but especially mosquitos, bees, and yellow jackets, dogs, rumble strips, chip seal with big gravel, a head wind, rude and grumpy campground hosts, and drivers who think people on bicycles are a menace to society so they get their jollies by seeing how close they can drive to you. Today I would like to add a ninth thing that I hate to the list, that is zippers on tents and sleeping bags. They don’t always hang up while unzipping, but when you are in a hurry to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night they always hang up. And then you are locked in your sleeping bag or tent or both forever or until Jesus comes. What usually happens is that it takes me forever to finally get out of my sleeping bag and then the tent zipper snags up and I am on the same trail with it. The words that I mutter in the middle of the night as I try to get free of my prison is, “you would think that if we can put a man on the moon and invent computers and stuff like that, you would think that someone could invent a zipper for tents and for sleeping bags that actually works.” By the time I am free of my zipper prison I usually have muttered that 3 or 4 times.