WanderingJustin.com

Two Mountain Bike Mistakes

I was not feeling this happy during my last ride.

There’s nothing like an exploding tire to liven up a bike ride.

Now, I’m not talking about a garden-variety punctured tire. No, I experienced a full-on, uncontained tire failure. As I climbed a bit of trail, the sidewall of my front tire gave way with a bang, a puff of sealant spray and a farty sound like a balloon losing its air.

This goes from the uncontained tire failure to a cascading series of crappy events, with Murphy’s Law in full effect. This is not a fixable trailside repair since this was a tubeless tire. Even if I had a spare tube to slip into the tire, the sidewall was too ruptured to hold it.

It gets worse. I looked in my Camelbak and … discovered that I didn’t have a cell phone for anyone to bail me out. This is something I never usually do. But I was in a hurry to beat the worst of the daytime heat. I left my phone charging upstairs. So remember to bring your phone!

And the proverbial Strike Three: No wallet. No ID. No moolah, scrilla, Benjamins or ducats. I have exactly 45 cents with me. Another mistake I never make. Remember, my friends: Always carry your ID and some cash!

Thus began a 6-mile walk of shame. Well, it actually got cut short. A fellow mountain biker driving around in his Honda Pilot spotted me and gave me a lift for the last mile and a half. Thank you, Joe! If I see you again, I’ll have to settle up somehow.

But before that, I discovered the joys of walking long distances in mountain bike shoes. Not quite as bad as high heels, I’d wager, but still crappy. I took them off and endured hot pavement with only bike socks to keep my feet from frying.

And bike shorts? Everything that makes them right for riding makes them wrong for walking. I had chaffing and rubbing in many an unhappy place.

Another unexpected bit of info: People in Phoenix are practicing safe sex. I can tell by the roadside litter. Let’s just hope they’re biodegradable, eh?

Let my misadventure be a lesson to you: Check what’s in your gear before you roll.

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