I rode for about an hour, getting a nice coating of mud and grime. As I arrived at Saltzman, the final climb out of the woods, my front tire went flat.
Flat tires on a cross ride...I hate them! But I was prepared...or so I thought:
I ride with sealant in my tubes. So if I get a puncture, the sealant should fix that. But there was my front tire, flopping around at zero PSI. I removed a tire bead and found it full of Stan's goo. The hole was too big to seal, I guess. On to plan B:
Of course I ride with a spare tube. Brand new, still in the box. I popped it out and...uh oh, the valve was awfully short. Too short, in fact for my deep-ish section rim. I couldn't inflate it with my pump. Ahh, but I'm prepared for that, too:
I pulled the valve extender out of my tool bag. They are small and easily fit in your patch kit. Everyone should have one. Anyway, I screwed mine on, but it didn't work. I couldn't get ANY air into the tube. Dang. Time for plan C:
Patch the Old Tube:
Okay, no problem, I've got a few patches on board. I cleaned the old tube off best I could, found the hole and...the glue was dried up. Totally gone. Not a drop left. Crap. What's plan D?
Yeah, I guess plan D is normally to shoulder the bike and go for a jog. I hate running.
I stand there, pondering. The sun has come out. My mud coating has crusted over and is starting to itch. Flies are buzzing around me. It's time to move. Is there a plan E?
Ride it Flat:
Yeah! I'm riding off road anyway, so could I ride it flat? I tried it, and yup, I could. I rode up Saltzman, staying in the mushy stuff as much as I could. Not being able to stand up made riding the SS up that hill more challenging. Plus I had a flat tire, riding in the loose stuff. I went from feeling bummed to screaming "this is awesome!"
And it really was. Out of the forest I flew with a stupid grin on my face. Rad.