When the weather warms up, I leave the confines of the YMCA and get my exercise via long bike rides. It is great to push the old Mongoose to maximum speed in the early morning. There are terrific bike paths along Lake Michigan in Evanston; I generally bike about 15 miles on weekday mornings; 20-30 on Saturdays and Sundays. I am no Lance Armstrong - I look like a dork on my 10-year old cheapie mountain bike, plain old shorts and a t-shirt (no tight Lycra for me, thank you). During my morning jaunts, I see "real" bikers on their $4,000 racers with clipless pedals wearing the full colors of a Tour de France team member. They whizz by me and snicker quietly.
I was banging away on Saturday and suddenly started to hear a clicking noise - one click for each spin of the wheels. I stopped and looked at my rear tire - somehow I managed to pick up a safety pin! My tire was hissing angrily. I turned back and rode it until the tire was totally flat, then walked the dog home. Lousy ride.
I repaired the tire and was back out slammin' it this morning. It was early and I was riding on the sidewalk to escape a section of bad road in Wilmette. There is one crook in the sidewalk that creates a little blind corner. I cruised around the corner, and met another bicyclist coming toward me rapidly. It was perfectly bad timing - there was no opportunity to avoid a wreck. We each had about 0.1 second to react. We collided and hit the ground in a tangle of arms, legs and bicycles. Since we fell on the grass, we weren't hurt badly - we weren't really going all that fast. But I bent the rim on my front tire. I tried to ride it home, slowly. This painful effort was terminated when my front tire exploded - a nasty sound it was, echoing like a rifle shot down Sheridan Road. So I had another long walk home. Bad biking this week thus far.
As I sat at my desk today, delayed reaction injuries began to appear - stiff neck, sore back, achy knees. I may let the bike sit in the garage for a week or so - go back to the stationary version at the Y. I have yet to blow a tire or have a wreck on the Lifecycle (but if anyone can do it, I can).