On my bike ride this afternoon I saw a Scaled quail and a Curve-billed thrasher. Not long after seeing these birds I was coasting down Tramway – the north end - when my rear tire blew. I laughed because I had earlier been thinking about how silly I was to go for a ride without a pump, spare tire, patch kit, cell phone, or money. Walking in cycling shoes is difficult, slow and bad for the shoes. I was ready to hitch when a couple of friendly cyclists came to my aid. Unfortunately, I have wheels that have deep rims and require special long valve stemmed inner tubes. Fortunately, one of the Samaritans had a long stemmed tube. Unfortunately, my rear wheel requires an even longer stemmed tube than he had. So we patched the offending tube, but it didn’t take. Then another cyclist, an older gentleman, stronger and vastly more experienced than the rest of us, stopped to help. We tried to warn him that I was beyond help and he wouldn’t hear of it. He said that he had everything we could possibly need. He did. He had a long stemmed tube and a stem extender. The stem extender did not work, but he had a longer one that did work. Sadly, my valve stem broke while removing the extender. Meanwhile, the other cyclists took turns keeping my precious bike from touching the ground (while their bikes were lying on the asphalt). He did manage to leave me with a tire about half full of air. I rode a few miles until the tire was flat again and I started walking. I had about a five mile walk ahead of me. During the walk I was damning my luck and stupidity and trying to be upset about the situation but I couldn’t help partially enjoy the walk, even in cycling shoes. I saw more birds - eight White-faced ibises probing someone’s flooded field. After walking about two miles, another cyclist stopped, Dean from Australia, to help. His efforts failed too, so he went home, got his car, and drove me home. That was awfully nice.
As a side note, Dean had a teeny pit bull (Staffordshire terrier).