Then the little indignities of a committed long ride began to pile up.
First, I dropped my GU. What is it? It's a little packet of electrolyte/carb/"energy" gel that you can
Karma kung-fu chopped me a dozen miles down the road: on the rotten stretch of road between the nuclear plant at San Onofre (with its immortal surfer appellation, "The Twin Titties"), and the state beach/camp ground a few miles south, I suffered a blow-out.
--which is always a drag.
For those non-riders reading this, when biking, one always carries an extra inner tube in case of flat--you just roll it up and stow it in a little pouch you can strap beneath your seat (like a traveling glove-box under yr rump). Very handy. My case also carries my driver's license (for the cop when you get ticketed for endangering those poor defenseless 6,000 lb. S.U.V.'s), a credit card and Starbucks discount card, my iPhone (verrry handy), and a patch kit. And one of the coolest biking inventions, a CO2 canister.
This little thing, which is not much bigger than a roll of quarters, holds enough compressed CO2 to inflate a 27" bicycle tire to the recommended 120 or so pounds of pressure. Yes, that's how much air pressure these tires take--compare that with the asthmatic 35 lbs or so required by a car. (Which means when your tire blows on a road bike, you can really hear it--and feel it. It blasted my back wheel off of the ground when it burst under me--exciting!). But the coolest thing about the CO2 can happens when you fire it off to inflate the tire--once released, the gas cools rapidly--and deeply. In the 6 seconds or so it takes to blow through a can and fill a tire (they are one-use only, so don't blow it!), the can and nozzle and valve stem all freeze. It's really cool and strange, esp'lly when you are standing roadside under a blazing sun and suddenly there's ice on your wheel--and your fingers.
In the blow-out my actual tire was damaged, so I had to patch that.Then I put in the new tube and triggered the CO2 can and off I went.
Only, once I got home, I couldn't find the blown tube in my under-seat kit. I must have forgotten it in the rush to get the bike going again...then I remembered where I left it....
p.s. and I'd hung it there so I wouldn't forget!