Booty Call

Boots.

I need better boots.

A few weeks ago the rear tire on Little Nellie went flat from a slow leak. I took the tire off and found three cuts in the casing. These cuts flex when the bike is in use. The flexing chews a hole in the tube. And a leak begins. So I replaced the tube and put tyvek over the holes on the inside of tire. I got the tyvek from one of my eye doctors who is a complete bike nut. (My other eye doctor is a bike commuter. Just a coincidence.)  Tyvek is the stuff they use to wrap new houses in before they put the siding on. It’s also the stuff the post office uses to make Priority Mail envelopes. The next time you get a tyvek package cut it up into strips about the size of Monopoly money and put them in your saddle bag.

And even better boot comes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Yes, good ole U.S. greenbacks are actually very durable cloth. Fold a dollar bill over twice or thrice and you have a nice tire boot that will last a long, long time. I once used one on the front tire on Big Nellie. Three years later I took the worn out tire off to replace it and out fell a dessicated dollar bill.  The same thing happened last night when I had to repair a flat on Little Nellie. The dollar bill boot I had used last year on the front tire had slipped out of position. The cut in the casing is about the width of a pencil so I first glued a patch from my patch kit over the hole. Then I glued the remnants of the dollar bill to that.  That should hold it for another 1,000 miles.

The ride to work was a breeze.  I had a nice tailwind and rolled along at 15 miles per hour.  That’s fast for me.  Of course, I can’t take the credit. The wind was doing most of the work. My regulars – people I see nearly every day – were all missing. Hoppy legged jogger, fitness woman, overdressed Asian bike commuter, @grafixnerd stunt double we all AWOL.

The ride home was hot. By Daingerfield Island north of Old Town my head was hanging. The strong headwind provided no relief.  As I rode around the power plant a guy passed me and asked, “Are you Rootchopper?”  I figured he guessed it was me by my pathetic form and slow pace.  It was Shawnofthedread from the Bike Arllington forum. Small world.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. I added a mile each way to my commute making it a 31 miler for the day. I was going to celebrate with a beer but it’s late, I’m old, and I want to wake up in time for Friday Coffee Club.

This weekend I plan on getting Little Nellie’s shifting looked at, probably at BicycleSpace. My local LBS said I need a new shifter, front derailler, and chain.  Before I spend big bucks, I’m getting a second opinion.

Speaking of second opinions, my personal physician  is starting a new practice. For an annual fee of over $1,500, he’ll let me be his patient. All I can say is whatever happened to first do no harm?

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