Teachable Moment

25 Jun

I debated writing this post because the last thing I want to do is scare anyone away from cycling.  I feel like there is enough fear out there surrounding cycling and the very last thing I want to do is discourage women for getting on their bikes, something I love so very much.  But if we can’t learn from our mistakes and take accidents and make them into “teachable moments”, then what good will come of it?

In order to get the bulk of my tale, I need to go back to Tuesday (so bear with me)

On Tuesday, I went for a ride with my BFF, Julie.  I got a flat in my front tire at the very top of a steep hill, so Julie had to climb it to meet back up with me (sorry!)  No biggie, I had 2 CO2 (air), a spare tube and a patch kit.  I didn’t want to delay our ride anymore than I already had (and I am lazy), I just decided to switch out the tube instead of patching it.  The CO2 on my adapter was out and my second was faulty, luckily Julie had a couple of cartridges and I was good to go!

So if you are counting, I am down 2 (all) CO2 cartridges and my spare tube.

I rode again on Thursday (minus a spare tube and with no CO2) but I was with Julie (who did have CO2) and without incident.  Marc and I went out for a ride on Saturday AM and I check to see if he had CO2 (which he did) and patch kits.  We did not have any spare tubes.  Half way through our ride and the furthest point away from our house I got a flat in my back tire.  A total blow out!

So I pulled over and Marc proceeded in patching my blow out.

The gash (yes, GASH) in my tube was so big, that we were having a tough time patching it and it wasn’t holding air.  We finally got it patched and ran out of CO2, the tire was terrible under filled but maybe enough to hobble home.

I got on the bike and that is when the following series events went down.

I started to roll with a very under-inflated back tire and I could feel that I was riding on the rim (WHICH IS BAD), so I looked back at my back wheel to see how low the tire was, WHILE I went over some uneven concrete (which you must do very carefully with low tires – AND I KNOW THIS) and I got a flat in my front tire all at the same time.

The events all happening at the same time caused me to fall over and hit my head HARD.  Yes, I was wearing a helmet, I always wear a helmet and so should you!  Thank goodness there were no cars coming at the time, because I feel into a lane of traffic and it could have been very, very bad.

Please understand that this was a freak accident and probably not very common, but it hurt and I am still very sore and have some nice road rash on my knee.


1. Never ride on under inflated tires, no matter how skilled of a cyclist you may be.  It is dangerous and not worth it.

2. Always be prepared.  Don’t rely on your riding partners for supplies, you should be self-sufficient INCLUDING knowing how to change your own tire.


7 Responses to “Teachable Moment”

  1. jnkmiles.org June 25, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    OH nooooo…so glad you were ok. I have taken a fall pretty badly (while HARDLY MOVING I might add) and cracked my helmet when I hit…scared the crap outta me!!
    Flats seem to come in waves…we went through a time here when my husband I were getting them every time we rode!! Big bad blow outs!! It was insane, but we got a lot of practice changing tires…makes you want to retire the race wheels I’ll tell you that!!
    Alos…FYI that Presta “fix a flat” stuff DOES work to get you home…I still carry a flat kit, but I always try that 1st and figure I can really fix it later…and the Presta is great for a race too!!

    • toughchik June 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      They DO come in waves! I will look into that fix a flat stuff, I am also thinking TUBELESS!

  2. CultFit June 25, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Great ideas! One thing that I carry now if I’m riding my bike with presta tubes is the adapters that fit on the presta valve making them schrader compatible. May not seem like a biggie…Although if you are all out of tubes, Co2…gas stations all use the schrader set-up. You’ll limp home, slowly though. Used them twice in a race and honestly they saved my life 🙂
    Take care and rest up!!!

  3. dccog June 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    It is soo important that every biker knows how to change his/her tire and carry a spare kit. Every person I mentor – that’s one of the things we do. I meet up with them for a few hours tp do get comfortable with the clip in pedals, basic bike handling, basic bike maintenance, and tire changing (they watch me do it once and then they have to do it in the front and back wheel in front of me). I think it’s very irresponsible for bikers not to learn change his/her flats.

  4. Theresa June 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    That was great to share especially for the newbies. I always carry a pump with me on training rides. Save the C02 and cost for races.
    Everyone needs to learn how to fall as well. Learn to roll, wouldn’t have helped you, but definitely don’t put the hand/arm out to break your fall, that’s how people end up with broken collarbones.

  5. Christine June 26, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Oh no, hope you are ok!

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