So if you're following along you know how the trip began. Keys, bag, passports...Yeah. Now let's get to the ride. The goal is simple...Vermont to Canada to New York and back to Vermont. In one day. On mountain bikes. With one tube. Ah....yep.
I carry a (1) tube and tools and a pump. The girl does not. I know this about her....or at least it's a really good guess. But I still only carry for myself...knowing full well if anything happens it's on me no matter who goes flat first.
So she's up ahead cruising down the hill and as I catch up I start to hear (to me) the unmistakable sound of a flat tire happening. I check my rear. My front. I'm good. So I ask the girl, do you have a flat? She says, no but there's a rattlesnake in the weeds.
A rattlesnake?!? Did you see it? And are you sure you don't have a flat? The noise is still there. The snake is not. She is convinced of both. Snake in the grass, air in the tires. Okay, I pass her and pedal on. I hear her call from the back, falling further behind, I think I have a flat.
Ah...yep. So we pull over and I start to dig into my bag...being extra special careful not to lose the passports. Meanwhile the girl surprises me by taking off the rear wheel. I should hope she can change a flat, after all most of our beneficiaries can and she is my wife. Found the tube and levers, but I now notice the girl is
She is actually snatching the tube from the rim where it is being held captive by the nasty tire. Baby, what are you doing? You have to remove the bead of the tire from the rim before you take out the tube. I've never done this before, she quips. NEVER? Well, clearly, duh.
So here we are on mountain bikes being passed by 700c if at all and my one tube is already put into play. And we haven't even left Vermont. I'm a little panicked. What if we get another flat...in Canada? Do we walk back to the States, well, yeah I guess we would. Round trip was about 30 miles and 15 kilometers. Be a long walk. The girl is oblivious.
I actually assayed the situation and thought in a pinch, no pun intended, I could take the duct tape on the edge of her seat and possibly patch a tube if it happens again. If it's simple like a snake bite, that pun WAS intended. But that's as long as I can get to her before she puts a choke hold on the imaginary rattlesnake and tears the living schrader out of it.