Out once again, chasing the dawn

Another brisk morning, although it’s been getting slightly warmer. Since I moved to the tent, I’ve been on the asleep at 10:30, up at six schedule that everyone inside more or less shares. That plus the cold I’m shaking off has kept me off the piste in the mornings. Instead I get up, wash up, dress, clean off the bike’s brake pads (I used to check the tire inflation too, but with the short valve stem of the current rear tube, it’s a little more difficult to use the gauge), and ride the 400 meters distance to breakfast, then over here to the internet cafe to catch up on whatever emails I’ve received during the night.

I finished JackVance’s “To Live Forever” last night and was dumbfounded by how good it was. I’ll write more about it later.

Flat fix zen

I fixed another rear-wheel flat this afternoon. This one was a good-sized tear right by the valve, forcing the issue of whether to patch the tube or to replace it. So I duped my buddy Tom into helping me with the chain tension by first listening to him tell me about his Ancient Order of Hibernians chapter and then telling him about this cylinder recording of Edward Meeker singing ‘The A.O.H’s. [sic] of theU.S.A.’ from 1915.

It was a little tricky because the new tube had a shorter valve stem than the punctured tube, and its business end was just peeking out of the tube, not far enough to attach the pump. So I remembered a trick I’d used before and pulled out the Schraeder adapter, which was able to screw onto the end of the valve and allow me to fill the tube with air anyway.

The funny thing is that I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering if there was some kind of bad mojo that had caused my flat. I keep having to remind myself, “There’s plenty of air in the tube. I could hit a shard of glass or a staple any time. I had enough air in there for a week, so it’s not like there was some kind of slow leak. It’s a tear in the tube and there’s nothing I can do about it.”