I'm in the airport (free wireless!) on my way back from North Carolina, where Kevin and I were visiting his parents (and aunt, uncle, cousins, their spouses and kids, and possibly some unrelated people who snuck in—come over at about 6 if you’re in the area and feeling hungry, no one will notice). We drove down so we could bring the bikes, and went on a long ride on Sunday morning. Our original plan (which we almost implemented) was to set out at the crack of dawn, bike to a coastal town about 35 miles away, meet his parents for brunch, then bike home. If things were going badly (for me… I’m always the one with the biking crises), we figured I could bail out after breakfast and ride back with my in-laws.
So we set out, and for a while things went well: it’s much flatter down here than near our house, the roads are in better condition, and there wasn’t much traffic. About 15 miles in, I got a flat tire. We had a spare tube (and four canisters of compressed air), so we changed the tire with a minimum of fuss and grease (although we did manage to pour out half of Kevin’s water), but had a hard time with the compressed air canisters and blew through all of them without getting my tire completely inflated. We figured it was good enough to get to the restaurant, called Kevin’s parents to make sure they planned to pack the pump, and set out again.
The bike wasn’t quite right—something was squeaking, and we never did quite figure out what it was—but we made it. We ate (a lot!), pumped up the tire, and set off for home. My in-laws stayed in the town to shop for a bit—which turned out to be a good thing, because about 16 miles into the 37 mile trip home, my tire was flat again. When they passed us, we pumped the tire again, and set off. Eight miles later, flat again. Fortunately, Kevin’s parents had stopped on the route to wait for us, so we pumped the tire again, and set off. A few miles later, flat again. We crawled along till we got up to their car, filled the tire, and started off again (yes, we’re a little slow—why do you ask?). That time, the tire got flat in barely a mile—and I finally gave up. We loaded the bike into the car, and got a ride home. Kevin finished off the ride (and added a little bit… evidently, 74 miles wasn’t quite enough). Even with the tire, I rode 69.5 miles—my furthest ever.
And I only tipped over once—at an intersection, right next to my in-laws' car. (I swear, one day I’m going to fall onto a stranger’s car, and it will really be embarrassing!)
The way this relates knitting is that I brought my Tour de France project with me (in the bag with my spare tube and air canister—it’s such sporty knitting). I brought it in case I needed to wait somewhere, but I didn’t work on it after all. The picture is actually from Saturday night, but it looks pretty much the same, just longer. I really like the "Alps" lace pattern along the lower edge, and the fill pattern I'm using for the middle is just the right amount of interesting and able-to-knit-while-talking (in contrast to the border, which took my whole brain).