Friday the 13th was the Townsend, Cades Cove, Rich Mtn. Road night ride which seemed like a good idea given the warmish February weather and no obligations for the evening. For the pre-game preparations I thought I would replace the two year old tube in the indy fab's seatbag while at work. Well, when I got up there to start the ride you know where the tubes were.
The counter at work is not a good place for tubes if you are going for a ride. I thought what is worst that could happen- I end up night hiking instead of riding. I took the patch kits that were in the gear bag and went on my merry way. Townsend greenway is well lit and the perfect warm-up-flat and cruising. The road up to Cades Cove is awesome at night- no cars. The loop is beautiful at night even without any moon and lots of critters out and about. I was thinking the chances of flatting were low until maybe Rich Mtn. when the gravel and dirt starts and so far so good. Climbing out of the cove with a 2:1 ratio is good cause it gets the climbing over quicker, and down the other side it was all good, then down the nasty broken pavement descent and I'm home free. Except that right at the bottom of the hill the front went flat!! I thought I'm close enough to ride the pavement out with it flat and not worrying about fixing this as it is getting colder and it's nice smooth pavement out to the highway. Luckily, I kept the steering to a minimum and the Michelin cross tire fits tight enough to not peel off the rim. The only problem was is that I was riding so slow and carefully I was freezing by the time I got to the car. Somehow no damage to the rim and even better no damage to the tire! Good times.