Yesterday I was descending Old La Honda Road in Woodside, CA. when I flatted in the apex of a curve going over 35mph. The rear wheel gave out and the back of the bike began to ‘walk’ around. I have Smarty pedals, (which I hate with a passion) and they are notoriously sticky when I need to unclip quickly. In fact I have fallen over at a light because they would not unclip. (Yes I am blaming an inanimate object for my inability to make them function properly.) However, yesterday when I heard the quick “WHOOSH” of air and felt the bike go into a skid, calmly I was able to stay on top of it, unclip my inside foot and find balance between the still inflated front wheel, and my dragging foot. The skid was only about 15-20 feet, but felt like it went on for a hundred. The cliff face edge of that hairpin turn came toward me VERY quickly but somehow I was able to just stop, as if I knew what I was doing. Of course that is when it set in that I could have just pulled a Johan Bruyneel and tumbled off the damn mountain.

There was a rider behind me who went by in a blazing yellow flash and yelled out “Nice save! You OK?” I yelled back “Yea.” Of course it was then I realized I did not have my tool bag with me. No spare tube, no patch, no c02, no tyre levers, nothing. Crap. Long walk. The salt? I didn’t have any cash on me either and knew I would have to walk by two bike shops on the way home. Double crap.

So I looked out over the valley, and took a deep sigh. I said a prayer thanking anyone who would listen for my not needing to use my RoadID, and started the long walk home.


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