I had to go to the church last night for scouts and since I decided to sleep in rather than ride in the morning, I decided I'd ride to the church instead of drive. I got home from work and rapidly patched my tire and threw a spare in the bag. All was fine until I was about a mile away from the church and 6 miles from home. The back tire went flat. I stopped to change the tire and watched the thunderclouds roll in from the West. I quickly threw on my spare tube but as I did, I noticed it was a patched tube and not a new one. Now, I have not had much luck with tire patches on my road bike so I knew I was in trouble. I tried the tube and it seemed to hold air until I got it to about 50 psi and ...FFFFFF.... FLAT! I then patched the old tube and threw it on. Same thing. I took a look at the spare and noticed that the stem was severing from the tube. That one's trash. My only hope was the old tube that was currently flat on my tire. I had one patch left!
I glanced up to see the storm rolling in. It was getting dark too! I looked around and across the park and saw the mall off in the distance. "Scheels! Awesome. I'll go buy a tube and get back on the road." Then I looked at my watch. 9:03. Scheels and Sports Authority are now closed and my only bet was Walmart, about a mile and a half down the road. I pulled my out my last patch in a last ditch effort to fix my tire before I conceded to the circumstances and hoofed it over to Walmart for an emergency tube. Just then a gust of wind hit and blew the patch right out of my hand. Nothing left to do but walk to Walmart, my favorite place on earth.
I called Sarah and told her of my plan but she would have nothing of it. She was coming to pick me up. The storm had already hit at home and was dumping buckets and breaking limbs. She asked where I was but I didn't know. Some park behind the mall somewhere. We decided to meet at Walmart. I still had it in my head that I was going to buy a tube and fix the tire. Yeah, I don't make much sense when I am determined. The determination ended a few moments later when the sky opened up and hit me with all it had. The weather report said that we had .88 inches of rain in the 20 minutes it took me to walk/run to Walmart. When I reached the end of the park, I could see the lights of the mall and through the torrent I could hardly see the Scheels sign. Oh, if I had just given up earlier and walked to Scheels for a tube! I tried to call Sarah to change our rendezvous point to the mall. I was already completely soaked and I'd only gone about 500 yards. No answer so I trucked on through the torrent. The water on the streets and parking lots was 3 to 4 inches deep in places. Gusts of wind pushed me down the street. I took advantage of the tail wind and ran part of the way in the windiest moments. My backpack now doubled its weight and its contents were soaked. It was so heavy that I couldn't even keep it in place as I ran down the road.
I finally made it to Walmart and Sarah arrived just moments afterwords. I bagged the notion of buying tubes, I just wanted to go home. I threw the bike on the rack and jumped into the car, soggy, cold and shivering but still in good spirits. Hey, it was an adventure!
I went back to Scheels today to pick up some tubes. As I pulled out of the mall parking lot, I looked to my right and saw Target and to my left, no more than 200 yards away, was where I had the flat. Yeah, I know! Target sells bike tubes. What a moron.