Fix Flat Tire1

My First Triathlon: A Bike? I Should’ve Gotten A Trike!

I biked inside on a stationary bike for most of March as I trained for my first triathlon. I enjoyed that because I had a perfect view of the cute guy that worked at the front desk. (This was before I met Davey). The cute desk guy was my motivation. Cute boys are great motivation… that’s why you run faster, or in my case, bike faster, hoping they’ll notice what a killer athlete you are.

But as the weather got nicer, I figured I should practice on my real live bike instead of going nowhere on the stationary bike. So, that weekend, I headed to this really cool trail I knew about. I packed up my bike into my mom’s Vibe—it didn’t fit in my little Lancer and I wasn’t cool enough to have a bike rack–yet.

I got to the park and off I went, complete with my padded seat—I also wasn’t cool enough to have padded bike shorts—yet. About ½ a mile into the ride, I got a flat tire. I guess road bikes aren’t made for dirt roads. I was actually pretty excited about the flat tire because I had my tools with me in my cute little pouch thingy under my seat! So I pushed my bike to the side of the path, leaned it against the tree and tried to pry the tire off.

Then along came another biker, who was wearing padded bike shorts and probably had a really cool bike rack on his car, and he asked if I needed help. Even though I said no, he stopped. Guess I looked like a damsel in distress. He took my bike and turned it upside down to have better access to the wheel. I thought that was a pretty genius move and started to take mental notes.

He looked at my tire, then at my tools and he asked if I had another inner tube. I had no idea what an inner tube was and so he smiled {pathetically} at me and suggested I go get my tire changed at a bike shop. “It must be pretty bad”, I thought. So I made the walk of shame ½ mile back to the car. It must have been nice people day because EVERY person that ran, biked or walked by offered to help. How embarrassing. This is NEW JERSEY, people! No one ever even looks at you or says hi when they run, bike or walk by.

I finally made it back to the car, shoved my bike into the trunk and drove to the nearest bike shop, which just happened to be in one of the more snobby towns around here. I figured that they’d probably need my bike to fix the flat tire, so I wheeled it over to the door and tried to open it while pushing my bike inside. In pure New Jersey form, everyone looked up at me but no one helped hold open the door. Sheesh. It wasn’t nice people day after all.

I waited in line at the register and asked the guy if they had time to change my tire. He directed me to the back of the store where there was a guy working on the bikes. I told him what happened and he said he would be happy to change it. But then he actually caught a glance of my bike and laughed. HE. LAUGHED. AT. MY. BIKE. I could feel my face getting beet red. Then to make it worse, he said, “I wouldn’t let my daughter out of the driveway with a bike like that.” My face got even redder, if that’s possible. I was kicking myself for having brought my Wal-Mart bike into a high-end pro bike shop.

Nevertheless, he attached my bike to this thing and turned it upside down and started to change the tire. He kept shaking his head and laughing all the while. After he fixed the tire, he said, “For the safety of women and children, I’m going to fix some of these gears and blah, blah, blah {insert technical bike terms here}, so that you don’t kill anyone with this thing.” I held back my tears and mumbled a thank you. When he was done, I took my bike, paid for the new tire and got out of there as fast as I could. And yes, I fumbled at the door again because no one helped me. It was definitely mean, jerky, idiotic people day.

I made it home and saw my dad in the driveway. I started to cry. I cried the kind of cry that makes you gasp for air. Between sobs I told my dad I was going to quit training, and what was I thinking doing a triathlon, and the man at the bike shop was so mean, and I got a flat tire, and I had no idea what I was doing, and the world was ending.

Read on about my first triathlon: My goal


About Author

Trainer DaveyTrainer Davey is an Orange County personal trainer at heart, but has since moved to Nashville and taken on the new challenge of triathlon training. Of course, he misses his home of Surf City...but Music City ain't so bad either!View all posts by Trainer Davey →