Botched Bike Ride: The Good, the Bad, and the Opportune

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 16th, 2009 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

I just jumped on my bike and headed toward the beach. Something seemed off about my bike. In fact, something has been seeming off for a couple of trips now. It seems that my tires are more wobbly than usual. When I go over a speed bump or the like, my bike seems slightly on the verge of skidding.

(My Shimano bike shoes)

(Homeward bound in my Shimanos)

I was planning on taking my bike to the shop for repair, but it didn’t seem super urgent as long as I biked at a moderate pace and was careful. Plus last week, one of the guys at my regular bike shop behaved weirdly toward me, leaving me uncomfortable enough to think about changing shops. So it was on my gargantuan “to-do” list to find a new shop and take the ol’ bike over there.

Anyhoo, so I was biking down the street and thinking how my bike felt a little more wobbly than usual. At the red light a few blocks from my house, I stopped and poked around my bike — pushing and prodding. Everything seemed OK. I continued biking.

Still, something felt off. By the time I got to the next stop light, I decided that although I couldn’t find anything wrong, I would trust my instinct and turn around, passing on the bike ride for today.

As I turned around, I heard a squeek and felt a wobble that meant just one thing: My tire had lost air. I’d just pumped my tires full of air yesterday evening, so I was surprised. Sure enough, when I squeezed my tire, it seemed about half full.

Damn.

I was ¾ mile away from home and in my bike shoes. What’s more, as I discovered last night, the repair guy at the bike shop last week had kept my bike tire/car tire converter gadget, which is the device I need if I am to pump my tires full of air at a gas station. Hm.

For those of you following my blog for a while now, you know I’ve had all kinds of ankle pain that has left me as good as unable to walk around my apartment at various times. It certainly has left me unable to walk more than a couple of blocks in anything but my running shoes.

I evaluated my options and decided to try walking home. I had a cell phone on me, so worst case scenario, I could call a cab. Guess what? I made it all the way back, sans pain, in my biking shoes! How cool is that! So while the bike ride was botched, the experience served as an opportunity for me to see how far I have come in my healing.



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