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I hate it when my actions exceed the threshold of stupidity.

Shut up… it’s not a daily, hourly, or every minute of my life occurrence.

One of the necessities of riding a bicycle, especially when riding off road, is being prepared for a flat tire.  There are some who avoid that unpleasant experience with tubeless tires, but I am not a tubeless guy (I like my tube) so I still need to carry a spare tube, patch kit, and CO2 inflator with me when I ride.  When riding my mountain bike, I have all I need stashed in plastic bags, tucked inside my hydration pack.. right next to the baggie of folded toilet paper.

Sunday morning, I decided to venture to the trails for a BCD (butt crack of dawn) ride.  It was going to be a sweltering, humid day, thus necessitating an early ride while it was still relatively cool.  As I unloaded my bike at the trailhead, the birds chirped merrily around me, greeting me in my revelry.  This was going to be a great ride, I just knew it.  True to expectations, my body felt fantastic as I zipped up the first trail, strong and good-for-me fast.  My warm up always takes me from the front of the park to the back, roughly a mile to a water crossing that leads to a nice, challenging loop of trails.  I got to the water crossing FAST.

The water crossing was a little deep.  Hikers have been damming it up, probably so they don’t get their dainty little feet damp as they cross.  Mountain bikers, who build and maintain the trails in the park, have been removing the dams.  Back and forth, build and tear down.  It has been a dam war.  When I came to the top of the drop into the water crossing, I noticed that the hikers had built yet another little dam.  Confident that the water wasn’t too deep, I swooped down the trail and into the water, my elbow wet as the water splashed around my bicycle.

*Fssssssshhhhhht fssssssshhhhhttttttt fsssssshhhhtttt*

Oh ssssssshhhhhtttttt.  A front flat.  The hikers must have been fighting back, booby trapped the crossing.  No worries, it was a front tire flat and I had my kit with me.  I removed the wheel, whipped the tube out of the tire, took out the spare tube, replaced it, inflated the tire with CO2.


Crud.  I thought I had inspected the tire for the cause of the puncture.  I was out of luck since I only had one CO2 cartridge and one spare tube.  I replaced the wheel, carried my bike the mile or so back to my car.  Shucks.  The birds all pooped on me as I got back to my car, blew raspberries as they flew away.

Sunday afternoon, at home, I decided to fix the flat tire.  As I pulled the punctured tube out of the tire, a thought struck me.

Is it possible that I had put the same tube, the punctured tube, back in the tire that morning?

Intrigued, I pulled the tube I had put back in my hydration pack.  It looked new and unused.

I now have a large hand print on my forehead.