This bear was brown and plush about 6 weeks ago when he was first put outside a house along the trail. I regret not taking progression pics of him becoming this flaccid excuse for a cuddly toy.

That flat tire I had before my Breakheart cycle? I can confirm it was definitely a puncture. I know this because I went out the following day, on what was going to be the last beautiful evening in April, and the fucking thing was flat again. I resisted the urge to curse and just set about changing it, all the while surprised that I managed to do a full hour cycle the previous evening without it seeming to go down at all. I always struggle to sink the claws in under the tire and definitely caused damage on the dozen or so times I’ve had to change this particular tire now. I managed the switch out relatively easily and hopped on the bike, still determined to knock 20 miles out of this evening despite the setback. I made it 0.83 miles.

Temperature: 57 f | Wind Speed: 15 mph | Miles this month: 12.65m | Miles this year: 160.46m (1,860.54m to go)

Something didn’t feel right and when I looked down between my legs to the back tire, something didn’t look right either. The tire was no longer properly attached and the tube was ballooning out of it. I knew I was defeated this time. I had a lot to ponder as I walked back home. Growing up, when you got a new bike, a certain pattern was followed. Day 1: Get the bike and take it out for a nice cycle. Day 2: Take it on the farm road to get the cows. It’s never the same again. No more than my own body, I don’t take very good care of my bike. I intend to but then every time I actually think about giving it some TLC is when I want to use it for pleasure.

It’s very difficult to get out of a habit like that in adulthood but, in my defense, my bikes when I was younger didn’t require all that much attention. They were built to be abused. I bought my bike into the shop to get the mother and father of all tune ups, complete with two new tires that are supposedly more resistant to flats – and have shitcool reflectors built in so I’m excited about that. It’ll be a couple of weeks before she’s back in my possession, however. The bike world is another one that has been hit hard by Covid. Every gobshite and his sister want a bike now or have a bike they want tuned up with the mistaken line of thinking that this will be the year that they start to cycle more. The owner of the bike shop said there is a bike Armageddon happening at the moment and if I was looking for a new bike, it would be the end of the summer. I did manage to snag a second hand bike that he had in stock which is how I am back riding while my Trek is getting a facelift. More on that next time.

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