…Who else will I meet while cycling?
It was too good to be true to go for a ride yesterday. The weather was too nice, and I was actually up during the day to experience sunlight and given the chance to go for a bike ride. I was pumped after not drowning in Bard’s pool, and finished having really fresh, hot, liquid caffeinated perfection at a local shop and discussing racing with a friend (I’m way to addicted to this sport)… I had to go for a ride. My bike was staring at me at home, longing for my love and attention.
But I was not meant to go for a bike ride.
And, please, one of the reasons for this blog is to teach little lessons to others–helpful hints–I have learned along the way. And I write about them, but do I actually do what I suggest? No.
Remember my first bike ride in my cycling shoes with my Aussie friend a couple of months ago and the flat tire? It happened again.
It started out all fine and dandy. Teary eyed, and legs a bit tired from the swim, but I’ll be needing to do these types of training days in the future for the race. I decided to head down route 9 and over to Rhinecliff since most of my riding as of late has been heading north. The ride was great, it felt good to be outside again, until I felt something in my rear tire.
Hmm. That’s interesting.
My speed slowed, and I peeked down back at my tire.
You had better not be flat, I thought.
And speed continued to decrease, and I began to feel every rock in the road, every tiny crack in the pavement. The fluidity and feeling that normal tires should have was no longer there.
I swear, I have the cleanest language, except for when I’m running or biking.
I had a flat.
And no cell phone. Or spare tube. Or saddle bag. Or money/wallet. Or anything other than chapstick and tissues, for that matter.
I stopped and got off and examined my tire, as cars whizzed by–like I could magically fix a tire by looking at it. Unfortunately, I do not have that magical power, although, it would be a great super power to have if I were to have one.
Hmm. What do I do. I could walk back home (it happened about 4 miles outside of Rhinebeck). But I have cleats, and route 9 is busy. Then I thought, ouu, there is a state trooper barracks a couple hundred yards from here. Maybe they can help.
So, I crossed the four lane road and walked my bike to the trooper barracks. I have never been in a police station before, and really did not know what to expect. I rang the door bell, praying someone was there, and a NYS trooper came to the door.
“Hi, I’m really sorry, I just got a flat, and don’t have a tube or my cell with me, can I use your phone?”
“Is that your bike over there?” The trooper asked.
“Sure, come on in.”
This trooper was so nice. She picked up the phone and handed it to me and asked, “what’s the number?”
And that’s when I realized, I have no phone numbers memorized. They are all in my cell. And, who would come to pick me up? It’s a work day. Crap.
“Umm, wait, I don’t know.” Man, I felt like an idiot.
“All your numbers are in your phone, right?” She asked.
“Yes…Umm, can you call a taxi?”
“Well, where do you need to go?”
“Just to outside the village on 308 where I live.”
“Oh, that’s so close, hold on.” She put the phone back and then went to the back and talked on her radio. A minute later, returned to the front desk.
“Can you wait ten minutes till my Sargent comes back with a truck–I’ll drive you, it makes no sense to get a taxi if you are so close.”
“Ohh that would be awesome, thank you so much. You have no idea. I was going to walk back–”
“Oh route 9 with cleats? No, no, too dangerous.”
I love NYS troopers.
So, I spent ten minutes sitting in the trooper barracks in my cycling gear, wondering how I ended up, again, coming into contact with the Dutchess County Law on a bike ride. I don’t know how these things happen to me. They just do.
A couple minutes later, an officer in a suit came out, “Flat? And you don’t have a spare?”
“It’s happened to me.” Man, why do these officers have to be incredibly good looking, and be cyclists themselves, and I’m always in cycling attire when I meet them?
“Don’t worry, it happens, just hold on for a couple minutes.”
I waited, and looked around. Low and behold, the female officer came out and told me to meet her outside with my bike.
Mr. Attractive in a suit came out and signaled for me to come to the truck.
“How hard is it to take that front wheel off?” He asked.
“Oh, not hard,” Thank goodness I know what I’m doing with bikes. I took off the front wheel and helped put it in the truck.
“There you go, take care.” He went back inside, and I got into the truck with Ms. Really Nice Trooper.
“Thank you so so much, you have no idea what an idiot I feel like now.”
“It’s okay, don’t worry.”
And she drove me to my house!
Voila, my second run-in with law enforcement. I really have no idea how these things happen to me when I ride.
So, fellow readers, please, please learn from my mistake and follow the guidance I am about to share.
1) ALWAYS carry a cell phone if you have one, or, at least some telephone numbers of people you know
2) ALWAYS bring a spare tube and saddle bag with some sort of pump. Lord knows you’ll get a flat when you have nothing with you. And money.
3) State Troopers really are friendly people.
4) If you are going to go for a bike ride with me, just be prepared. You never know what’s going to happen.