Two. Two inner tubes flew on winged rubber horse to Vahalla, leaving me stranded just ten miles into a 45 mile ride. The rear tube grew a hole and just because it felt like it, its replacement caught the same disease.
“Damn you, Craig!” I cried, fist raised in fury. (I’m not sure who Craig is, but I never really liked the name. In truth, no one I asked—and I asked only me—likes the name, either. Abandon the “i” and you’re left with a bunch of rocks stuck together. There’s just no rescuing it as a name.)Luckily, a kind rider happened along and threw me both pity and an extra inner tube. The latter I could inflate; the former, alas, didn’t have a valve. I know; I checked.
Here’s what gets me: no other bike had two flats. One, sure, heck, lots of people in the ride had one flat (or were flat… if we’re counting that), but I appeared the only one to be twice cursed. Which leads me to one inescapable conclusion:
The other bikes were doping.
The Giants, the Cannondales, the Specialized(s?), the Treks: one flat. Dopers. EPO, EPA, ESPN, it doesn’t matter what they were using; it just shatters the integrity of the… er, well, maybe not a race (even if I did grin a mouthful of “Ha! I’m passing you!” to each person I rode by), that the bikes themselves were doping to an unfair advantage. I mean, TWO flats? Whoever heard of such a thing?
Worry not: I shall persevere. Or I shall Percival, because I am so totally like that King Arthur knight searching for the Grail: pure and shiny and I have a pretty funny (last) name.
At least it’s not “Craig”.