Sunday, July 15, 2012

flat tacks

maybe you were watching the tour today, and maybe you weren't.

the unusual news today is that at the top of the last climb, some hooligan threw a buch of tacks and nails into the road just about the time the big men were coming through, and there were a few dozen flat tires (which i maybe do not need to tell you represents a danger of crashes) and it took a while for everyone to figure out what had happened  but when the peloton saw what was going on, they neutralized the pack and all came in as a bunch.

this is important if you are team BMC and you're trying to return cadel evans (defending champion) to the pack after his four flats, and it's important if you are bradley wiggins who got a flat late in the mess, and it is of some note if you are pierre rolland, who got away clean of all the flatting and thought to have himself a great gain on time in the GC but had to be brought back into the neutral pack.

the decision to neutralize did not come from the race referees, nor did BMC call for it. it came from the men in the field, who knowing something was very, very wrong decided with great force to do the fair thing.

to neutralize the pack, the big men in the race simply decide amongst themselves that they will be exercising a delicate truce. they sit up and they wait for everyone to come together. their team enforce the truce and when the thing is put to rights they all take off again at full speed and there are no friends.

it is both vicious and gentlemanly.

they will rip each other to shreds on the road, but they'll do it on their own terms.

in  other flat tire news, closer to home, today just after my ride i had taken my wheel off and i had the wheel in my left hand to load it up onto the rack when suddenly and without warning or apparent reason the tire went flat.

usually if you get a blowout or other suden deflation, it happens when you hit something hard, or when you roll over something sharp. usually if a tire goes flat NOT being used, it's a slow leak.

i have never, ever seen a tire go suddenly and completely flat in my hand or anyone else's.

i think tomorrow i will go bike shopping. while i;m at it, i will have the guys in the shop put a new tire on this bike.

yes, that seems best.

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