Dies Horribilis

Some get a year, I guess I get this day.

It all started just fine.  The weather was very promising when I got up and I had plenty of time to wander into the old town for a bite to eat before heading off to the dealer to pick up my bike.  I’d heard that there some kind of something going on in Skagen– a circus and something involving bikes.  It was going to work perfectly- the bike was ready just after noon, leaving me plenty of time to ride up to Skagen before riding down to Hanstholmfor my 6pm ferry.  As I left Aalborg the weather started to turn, but no matter, nothing putting some rain gear on wouldn’t cure.  The rain got thicker on road, but so did the bikes so I didn’t mind- I was onto something.  An hour in and a huge tent started to emerge from the rain- a huge, old fashioned, honest-to-goodness circus tent!  And bikes!  Rows of personal tents with bikes in front, hundreds of bikes of every sort!  I forgot the rain and started to look for a place to get details about what was going on.

Then it happened.

My amber attention light blinked on.  I was used it- I thought I was good for fuel, but I guess I needed to keep an eye out for a gas station.  Nope- tank was 1/3 full.  I took a closer look at my console and saw my rear tire pressure was way down- 1.9bar, not the 2.6 I normally run at.  Damn- there must be something wrong with those ‘good enough’ Bridgestone tires I had them put on the bike!  There’s nowhere to pull over, so I keep riding, watching the tire pressure.  It’s going down very slowly so I don’t think it’s a puncture- maybe a bad valve?  Bent rim?  Something with the spokes?  Time was ticking down- I had about 2.5 hours before I had to be at the ferry and about 1 hour of riding to get there.  Yup, there was time to get back to the dealer and have them swap or repair the tire (I didn’t trust my patching ability in the rain under serious time constraints)- if I could keep the tire inflated long enough.  I gave them a call, got the bike guy, updated him on the situation, and everything was cool… Yeah, right- everything was cool until we discussed when I’d get there and I realised that I hadn’t changed my time zone- it was an hour later than I thought it was!!  There was no way to get to Aalborg, fix the tire and then get to the ferry in time.  I was screwed (literally as it turns out).  Okay, okay- I’ve got a power air pump.  I can ride, fill the tire, ride, until I get to the ferry.  I can get it dealt with in The Faroes and work out a refund for the tire when I get back.  I calm down and start riding.

 Staying off the freeway so I could stop to refill the tire, I made my run to the ferry.  About 15 minutes later I had to pull over and fill the tire; no worries, pump came out and I started filling.  I Started.  I said I STARTED!  Damn, damn, damn- the rain was so heavy it shorted out the pump!  I had 3 CO2 emergency tubes, but they wouldn’t give me the pressure I needed to ride fast enough to make the ferry.  It had to be gas stations then.  I needed to head south-west, so I checked the GPS for the nearest station in the direction and ride on to it.  Then the next.  And then the next.  Air pump by air pump I made my way to the ferry.  Eyes moving between road, pressure gauge, and watch.  Each view more depressing than the last, and if any got worse, I’d miss the ferry. 

I was the last bike to ride up the steel ramp onto the ferry,  the bike feeling mushy, the rear squatting down a bit whenever I turned the throttle.  But, I made it.  I still had my CO2, so when I got to The Faroes I could ride off the ferry and drop the bike at the nearest shop for them to look at.  The Faroes does has a bike shop, doesn’t it?

The culprit- a screw that luckly stayed firmly imbeded in the tire and kept the leak slow.


   I still don’t know what the scoop was in Skagen.


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