I went out for a ride alone one day and got myself a flat. Not only had I failed to follow my own advice not to ride alone, but I had also failed to restock my spare tube, I don’t seem to manage the CO2 cartridges well. I lose well over half the gas, and I didn’t have a pump either. I didn’t own a bike mounted pump. I ride with Russ and he carries one. Park maintenance personnel came along and gave me a ride to the tunnel where they were going to work. I rode in the bed of the pick-up I hadn’t brought a mask on that day either. I called Russ to let him know that I didn’t have an operable bike and that I’d let him know when I was in the car. I enjoyed the view from the truck slow and easy like a passenger instead of a rider, Then I thanked the guys for the ride and walked the three miles from the tunnel to my car (the maintenance guys finished their work and caught up to me just as I made it to the parking lot). It was all fine. I missed my workout for the day, but I was otherwise fine. At the same time, that could never happen again.
I’m the self proclaimed discount diva. I’d be willing to throw money around where it would do the most good if I had more of it, but, I’m pretty careful because I don’t. I know how to do cost/risk/benefit analysis like the penny pincher that I am. I googled to find out what road bike tire got the fewest flats. I came up with Continental Grand Prix 5000 from more than one source. I looked around. I’ll buy local if I can, but these were the most expensive tires I’ve ever bought for a bicycle. I ended up getting them online, and bought more than I needed for the additional discount. Russ and I have the same size tires and he doesn’t need flats either.
This was the first time I had ever replaced a previously functioning tire and noticed so much difference. I ruined a tire once by failing to notice it needed air, and I blew out the side walls. I really noticed when I changed that one because my knee pain got better. I learned. I’ve been riding with proper tire pressure most of the time since. When the Continental Grand Prix 5000 went on my bike, I had been riding on decent tires. Still, the new tire felt so good that I considered replacing the other tire even though it was doing just fine. It also seemed quieter. Before long I did change the other one. I bought those tires to reduce the chances of flats, and being stranded. It doesn’t do much good to have only one tire with high resistance to flats though. So, I haven’t said very much that’s technical about the tires (or the tubes I bought to match, but there’s plenty of that out there from guys who have the chops to write it. This is as much a statement about safety as anything else. Keep your gear in the best condition you can and pay attention to your tires. Most people on the trail are friendly, and the further you are from civilization, the more likely a passer by is to offer help. But not everyone is friendly, not everyone could help, and if anyone ever gives you their tube or CO2 cartridge, then they don’t have it anymore.
Oh, and now I have a bike mounted pump too. It’s not the most compact. I don’t remember the brand. It came from REI and Russ wanted it to be the easiest to use. The little ones are such a pain to pump. I’ll probably never review it. Hopefully, by the time I use it, if I ever use it, there will be other models out. But, I have it, and the insurance is worth the size and weight. /and, now I can offer it to the person who just lost half the gas in their
Oh, and now I have a bike mounted pump too. It’s not the most compact. I don’t remember the brand. It came from REI and Russ wanted it to be the easiest to use. The little ones are such a pain to pump. I’ll probably never review it. Hopefully, by the time I use it, if I ever use it, there will be other models out. But, I have it, and the insurance is worth the bulk and weight. And, now I can offer it to the person who just lost half the gas in their CO2 cartridge.