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a new wheel, a cat, a helmet, a fork and some flats

So it was the 36th annual "Midnight madness ride" last night at midnight. My friend Noah and I decided to do it last minute, once I was able to locate a new wheel for his bike. I searched and finally found a great one at Bicycle discovery in Pacific Beach on Friday. With a little maneuvering, I was able to get the wheel in and locked down.

So yesterday we were gearing up to head down, and I was showing Noah the computer i put on his bike. I had the front door open because I was going to head out and start loading the bikes. Unknown to me, my sneaky cat precious, really likes being outside and before I could say,"Great googly moogly", she was out the door and the chase began. I chased her to and fro and back and forth and finally she trapped herself under the crawlspace of the other house on my property. Trusty noah grabbed the flashlight to help me get her out. Trying to make up for lost time, We ran her to the house and shut the door.

As we left in a hurry, I loaded my bike then Noah's bike on the roof rack of my car. I thought that i had secured his bike, but as we began to drive down the 5, a kind lady in a truck waived me down and let me know that a bike was about to fall off. I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and there was Noahs bike, one fork in the rack, the other out and the entire bike was leaning 90 degrees. the mount was bent and i had to bend it back without heating the metal so that the front wheel would be able to stay in place. I tightened down and with one Hulk like movement, I pushed the bike back up right and straightened the fork out. I secured the left side of the fork on the bike and we proceeded downtown.

Upon arriving downtown, we parked and began to unload bikes. As i tightened the front wheel on the fork, i realized, I had forgotten my backpack (no big deal, it only had my camera in it.), and my helmet. I thought for sure i was going to have to register, drive 35-40 minutes each way, get my helmet and drive back down. I was getting bummed. Luckily for me, REI was on site and had a helmet. $35 and i was on my way. I registered, got my tshirt, entered the drawing and waited around with Noah admiring the bikes and scenery.

11:59 rolled around, as we never thought it would, and the riders began to roll out in groups of 200. Noah and I were in the back of the pack and the line moved rather quickly. We began riding and weaving in and out of the pack we were in to advance to another pack, we would ride and weave and move ahead. The thrill of starting a ride is fantastic, even if it is just for fun. You jockey for position and find your groove. Noah and I found our fast, and as we hurried through the crowds we found ourselves moving quickly through the pack.

I heard the sound that I don't care for when riding, "pfffttttshhhhhhhhhhhhh", and for some reason, I knew it was Noah. I heard him call for me and i trailed behind him and shined my light on his rear tire; flat. I thought okay, game time. I quickly dismounted tire and took the spare out of Noahs pack. I tried to pre pump it up to put some air in, but after further review the spare was no good. I then spent 20 minutes finding the hole in his current tube. Fixed one and began to fill up his tire with CO2, We realized we didn't have the right equipment for the job. He needed a shrader pump and both ours were prestia valve pumps (they are different just trust me). After getting some air in with the co2 pump, we found the second hole. Noah held, and I frantically patched. A nice support gentlemen from REI helped us get the wheel back on and pump the tire up to the appropriate pressure. Once again, we were off.

We made up some time and I began to settle into my groove again. Noah kept up for a while. I enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds of my ride as I rode down rosecrans to kettner. The night air was crisp with an ever so slight mist of pear. I found myself arriving back to the lot where we started at 1:50 in the morning. I dropped my bike off at the car and came back to the lot to wait for noah. I waited, and waited some more and waited a bit more, until i checked my phone. The text said: "I flatted again and am at the am/pm on rosecrans" , I replied, "I will be there shortly", to which he replied, "i will catch the broom truck home" I again waited and finally noah showed up at about 2:35 in the morning. We snapped some shots of Noah with his now defunct bike began our trek back to the car.

The learning lessons on this were unanimous:
1. When you rush, you will inherently forget something, so take your time and do it right.
2. Animals, no matter what we like to think, are wild and love to be free.
3. Enjoy the small moments no matter what, they make up the big picture.
4. When going on a bike ride, plan to have at least two tubes and patch kits.

Until next time


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