Monday, July 22, 2013

A goathead was the cause of my morning disappointment

This morning I woke up 30 minutes earlier than normal because I planned on riding my bike to work today.  I’ve been getting really good at biking these last few months, and I can feel myself getting more fit and strong.  

I no longer have to get off my bike to push it on steep uphill climbs like a wimp.  I’ve upped my bike commute to 2 days a week now.  It’s been a great way for me to squeeze in ~140 minutes of cardio exercise in 2 days (my ride time is now 30 minutes to work, 40 minutes home). 

I was fully geared to go: dry-fit long sleeve shirt, sweat pants, workout gloves, UV Buff, sunglasses, and broad spectrum SPF 70+ sun block.

As I was pushing the bike out the door I noticed there was something very wrong: my front tire was completely flat… WTF?!  
My hopes of getting my exercise on this morning were literally deflated. 

Upon closer inspection I noticed that there was this prick that had punctured my tire and deflated my inner tube.  I just went for a ride to the market yesterday so I must have ran over this thing on the way home.  Needless to say, I felt a wave of disappointment wash over me.
The prick that punctured my tire was actually very cool looking, with a bunch of mini spikes all over and 2 wicked spikes on the top, which looked like horns.  One of these horns put a hole in my tire.
Because of the flat tire, I was forced to drive to the office.  At work, I was totally called out by several coworkers asking me why I didn’t bike to work today.  I think they were quick to assume that I got lazy.  I’m glad that they are keeping me accountable.

After I got home, I took the tire off my bike and took it to the local bike shop to buy a new inner tube.  The nice worker told me that I ran over a goathead.
No not that kind of goathead!
A quick wikipedia search taught me what a goathead was. The official name of this flowering plant is tribulus terrestris, and it also goes by some pretty badass names such as: puncture vine, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s thorn, devil’s weed, and goathead.  

It’s nutlets (seeds) are hard, bearing two to three sharp spines, which are sharp enough to puncture bicycle tires (like mine).  The seeds are easily picked up by the wind and can end up in your bike path.  The unique shape of the goathead looks like it was designed for the sole purpose of causing flat bicycle tires.

I’m happy to report that the inner tube has been replaced, and my bike is good to go again.  My next ride to the office is scheduled for Wednesday morning.  In the meanwhile, I’m going to do some research on how to stop this from happening again.  

Have you been riding your bike lately?

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