Our first bike ride of the season turned into an afternoon spent sitting on a bench in a trailhead parking lot waiting for Lee to bring the car and rescue me and my crippled bicycle. That was after we had spent about 30 minutes by the side of the bike path struggling with the tire, tube and pump trying to figure out why we couldn’t get the punctured tube out of the tire and then when we finally got that accomplished why we couldn’t get the pump to lock on the presta valve. Helpless bike mechanics like us shouldn’t be allowed out in public.
From the place where I got the flat it was a fairly short walk to a trailhead parking lot. Given the frustrations we were experiencing trying to fix the flat, we finally decided Lee would pedal back home to get the car while I made my way to the parking lot. Not so bad to sit on the bench in the sun once I had half pushed and half carried the bike along the dirt road to get there. It also gave me time to study the problem some more and figure out what we were doing wrong with the pump.
The bike shop was on our way home so we stopped in and handed the bike tire over to the capable mechanic and let him fix our botched job. That way I could also get the puncture sealant goop put in the new tube. Going for a hike is so much easier than dealing with bicycles. I don’t know if I’ll ever get comfortable with basic bike maintenance. But it was an outdoor adventure on a February day that felt more like April, and for that I am most thankful.