IM70.3 Cozumel Training–A Flat Tire Attitude Adjustment


Sunday morning looked glorious for a 60 mile ride. I even checked in from the BWI Overlook – “This is the day the Lord is made…a glorious day for a 60 mile ride.”


And it was. I was cruising along…having a (what I considered) great ride and then at EXACTLY the 40 mile mark…my back tire went flat.


GTFOOHWTBS! Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn. Sigh. Ok. Here we go. Let’s see if any of those (well, that one) workshop and U.tu.be University video’s pay off.

          flattire  flat_nail

Now, while I was fussing and grumbling…there were signs that life was still grand – that I was going to be okay – that all was still right with the world. I got my flat right next to a gas station, across the street from a drug store chain & from the B&A Trail (where there were NUMEROUS cyclists passing by and offering assistance). Yet, I was still huffing & puffing, whining and talking about the “epic failure” of my ride.


I walked my bike into the gas station lot, Shifted into the low gears, released the brake, flipped my bike over (hey, Diva Dawes is easier to work with when you can use both hands), and proceed to remove the tire. I got the tire off pretty easily and then I just stared at the tire for a while – now what?


Oh! I have a repair kit! Let’s pull it out. I used the “tool” to get the tire off and as I was going around I found this giant construction staple jammed into the tire. Yeah, that will give you a flat straight away. I got the tire off the rim, and pulled the tube out. Seriously, I took about 2 min thinking I could find the hole and patch it. HELL WIT DAT! Just put a new tube in. That was even uneventful. I got the new tube in, put the tire back on the rim and got my cartridge & nozzle out to inflate the tire – got 20 more to go ya know.


HUMPH. Not so fast, my novice tire changing padawan. The nozzle got stuck on the stem and simply would NOT come off. I keep pulling and twisting, pulling & twisting and it WOULD NOT COME OFF…OR INFLATE THE TIRE. Here came those words again…



                flat_stuck nozzle  flat_stuck nozzle2

After about 20 min fiddling with this thing and trying to get it off, I gave up and called The FireMarshall – come get me please. He started making his way to me. While I sat there to wait for him, I decided I would keep trying to remove the nozzle thingy and after about 15 min of that, I dropped the tire on the ground and the frigging thing just popped off. I just stared at it like FORE-EVER!!! You have GOT to be kidding me.


I put the nozzle & cartridge back together and testing it on the flat tube – it worked. SON OF A BEEEOTCH. I try it again on the new tire/tube and WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM the tire inflates. I call The FireMarshall to tell him that he doesn’t have to come and he was like, OH HELL NO!, I’m almost there and you would have another 20 to do and we ARE going to that BBQ we got invited to. Just get in the car when I get there. HUMPH.




I spent the next 15 or so trying to get the tire back on and it is not as simple as it looks. That whole chain thing – REALLY!!?? – SIGH. I finally get it on, put my kit back on the bike and then to add insult to injury, the motivation tag that MsPattey gave me was all hanging askew…Mocking me.


I did not need to be mocked at that moment. I took it as a sign (in addition to the flat) as a premonition of what my race might be like and I started getting all negative nelly. Snivel, whine, snivel, bitch, snivel, complain.


The FireMarshall rolls up into the gas station and takes charge. I’m sniveling and started talking about my anxiety about the race based on this “epic failure”. He gave me the classic FireMarshall hard stare over the top of his glasses and simply (and FIRMLY) stated, “Watch your words.” Being snarky, I said “what do you mean by that?” His reply was “Is this your 1st flat? Did you get it changed? BY YOURSELF!? Did you still get in 40 hard miles? YOU are NOT a failure. Your equipment FAILED you and you dealt with it. Watch your words. Cara is watching & listening. Now get in the car.”


flatsloganWell, DAMN! Attitude Check! He was right and I left that funky attitude right there at the BP gas station.


I CAN do this. I WILL do this.