First, let me state that I in general I don’t believe I overuse exclamation points. The second and fourth exclamation points are for emphasis, while the first and third are part of Stella!’s name. Stella! is my bike.
Second, as a reminder, Stella! would appreciate if you pronounced her name properly. Do a quick video search for “streetcar named desire hey stella” and a second search for “seinfeld elaine benes stella.” A mix of the two is how to pronounce Stella!’s name.
Now that you’re back, this summer, Stella! and I have been trying to get at least one long(ish) bike ride in a week, somewhere between 25 and 45 miles. A few weeks ago, I headed north on the Interstate 205 bike trail once again, and I was rewarded with this view of Mount Hood.
Last weekend I decided to head south along the 205 toward Oregon City. Establish in 1829 by the Hudson Bay Company, Oregon City predates Portland and vied for dominance in the territory’s early years. I hadn’t been down to Oregon City before and thought it would make for an interesting 40-mile roundtrip bike ride.
(Come winter, this often passes as sunny in Portland in the sense that it’s not raining. This is a view of the Hawthorne Bridge from our starting point in downtown Portland on the esplanade bike path on the Willamette River.)
After riding 10 miles on the Springwater Corridor, I hooked up with the I-205 trail heading south. It’s a nice trail, if not always scenic.
About five miles from Oregon City, the trail becomes a marked bike path on the street. We were riding along when I heard a solid sounding “pop.”
We didn’t just ride over a nail, this nail pierced Stella!’s tire all the way through. (That is not a chalk outline of Stella!. She survived.)
I wasn’t carrying a spare tire. Yes, that is stupid.
Being stupid rather frequently, I at least choose routes where I won’t be stranded. Although there were no repair shops nearby, there was a bus stop. I thought I caught a bus heading toward Oregon City where I figured I could get the tire replaced and still ride home. I was mistaken. We were headed back to Portland.
At the bike shop, it took less than ten minutes to have the tire replaced.
Now for the really stupid part: even if I had been carrying a spare, I doubt my ability to change the tire. I’ve never changed a tire. I could probably make a stab at changing a tire, but those odds aren’t something I’d like to bank on 20 miles away from home. So guess who’s signing up for a quick lesson on the basics of bike maintenance.
So simple, it’s just a matter of learning.