Retroambulation

Saturday’s accident on the MUni left me with 7 stitches in a swollen chin, and I can’t get my fencing mask on, so I had to cancel tonight’s fencing lesson.

Fortunately, the stitches aren’t in the way of my helmet strap, so I decided to go for an evening ride on the 28.

Oh how pleasant, ghosting alongside the sparkling Trent, the wavelets glistening with the reflected light of the yacht club and marina… a fox appears suddenly from the bushes on the river bank and darts across my path… the low lights from over the river throw my pale shadow far across the flat field… somewhere, a duck quacks, a fish splashes… or perhaps vice versa…

The gates to the Water Sports Centre close at dusk, and by now it’s pitch black, but they’re open. I’m soon on the long tarmac straight that runs parallel to the main rowing lake. A gentle breeze speeds me onwards, snug and warm in my windproof top (now rinsed clean of blood stains!) and the calls of the rowers float across the water to me. Faint lights in the distance betray the presence of the slender shells which bear these fellow athletes across the dark bosom of the mere. An occasional jogger or cyclist passes in the gloom, nodding in curt surprise at my chosen vehicle.

And soon I reach the end of the lake and make the long turn around the end, gradually facing into the wind which suddenly seems stronger… and BANG! A carelessly abandoned stick trips my speeding wheel. After 3.2 miles I find myself suddenly afoot.

Never one to waste the opportunities that life throws before me, I decide to pump up my tyre a bit. It has been feeling a bit soft for the last couple of miles. Hmmm. The more I pump, the more it goes down. Pump pump hiss, pump pump hissssss, pump pump pump pump hissssssssssssssssssssss.

The sound appears to be coming from the valve. It’s one of those Presta valves, and I’ve never been quite sure how they work. I fiddle disconsolately, then decide to remove the tube to have a better look.

Aha! Or, ho hum! The base of the valve has torn away, leaving a ghastly crescent smile in the tube. Time to walk home. I’ve ridden 3.2 miles. By cutting the corners, I’m sure I can reduce that to 3.

Funny how the wind is colder and faster when you’re walking 3 miles carrying a unicycle.

Moral? Carry a spare tube. It needn’t be one more thing in your Camelbak - you can strap it to the seat tube, like bicyclists do. Another lesson learned.

Muni accident? i missed that thread, have you a link? (you can probably find it faster than me)

Mike: I followed you posts for quite some time, but being really busy had slacked of form the forum for a while…Did you make your Coker goal around the tarmac yet?
12 miles in an hour, if I remember correctly.

Hope your face heals well!

I carry a spare tube in my camelback (not when on the Coker though! That spare is only gonna be bought when needed)

As I am already wearing a backpack, my thoughts are, ‘go ahead and fill the sucker up!’

You will find the gory details here:
Mikefule’s bout with unsolicited plastic surgery

At the time I was training for the Red Bull, although I missed that due to chipping a bone in my hand and spraining my wrist in a low speed Coker tumble about 4 days before the event. The best I ever did, on a stock Coker with 150mm cranks and improved pedals was 12.95 miles in exactly an hour. I also did 20.05 miles without dismounting at all, in about 1:55, if I remember correctly.

Since then, I have got heavily into fencing (sword fighting, not post and rail :stuck_out_tongue: ) which is occupying 2 - 3 evenings a week, and some weekends. What with that and the dancing, and with my partner now living 250 miles away (something I said?;)) there hasn’t been much time for unicycling, and my performance has slipped considerably. There’s been a sudden burst of activity over the Christmas/New Year period, though. Once the evenings get lighter, I’ll be back riding 1 - 2 nights most weeks, and some weekends, but I doubt I’ll ever hit the same peak of fitness or near obsession as last summer.

It’s our loss.

Don’t worry Dave…he’s bluffing

wow, Mike, you make events in your life into good storys, felt like I was there, sorry I didn’t warn you about that stick.

Andrew

so… how did the stick half-rip your valve off the tube?

somebody challenge mikefule to some distance event?
please!

:frowning:

Re: Retroambulation

GILD wrote:
> somebody challenge mikefule to some distance event?
> please!

Here’s one…

SSMM (Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem) usually referred to as Red Bull.

Come on, Mike, you know you wanna…

June 26/27 2004, Malvern.

Don’t hurt yourself this time, that Des bloke we had to get in to
replace you last year was useless. :wink:

Regards,
Mark.

Fujitsu Telecom Europe Ltd,| o
Solihull Parkway, | In the land of the pedestrian, /|
Birmingham Business Park, | the one-wheeled man is king. <<
Birmingham, ENGLAND. | O

This is an astute and fair question indeed.

The answer is that it didn’t.

I can honestly say that I am very careful indeed when replacing tyres and tubes, so I know I put it in straight. However, it was one of those valves without a little lock ring that you screw down to almost in contact with the rim.

The 28 went for a long period without use, during which time the tube gradually deflated, perhaps due to a slow puncture, slightly faulty valve, or maybe porous tube. I dunno.

Anyway, my guess is that the tube crept round a bit when soft, pulling the valve sideways. Also, I know that on the ride in question, I noticed that the rim was bottoming out on the rougher bits, which is why I decided to pump it up when I was fortuitously stopped by the stick. Perhaps during this phase of the ride, the tube crept round a bit too?

It’s hard to be precise, but it is clear that the end result was that the valve was not dead straight in the hole, and that the tube must therefore have crept round or bunched up putting an uneven strain on the base of the valve.

Why all this detail? Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to all of us, so it’s one more thing to check periodically.

ooh! Thank you for clearing that up. I was really confused, for I feared I would have to reinforce my valve stem when planning on traversing any stick-infested thoroughfares. :wink: