Bubblegum

Have you ever had one of those days? Oh who am I kidding, we all have had one of those days.

So, let me tell you about the day WE had. If you haven’t noticed by now, my cousin and I do a lot of these adventures together. Okay, okay as the Intern AKA Safety Sally would say: predicaments. Well, one fall morning with smiles on our faces, we headed out on a 40-mile loop at one of our favorite single tracks here in the Northwest. About ten miles in, my cousin stopped in the middle of the trail turn to me and said,“($#!+) I think I pinched a tube on that last rock I hit.”

Well, I’m thinking to myself, this is no problem. We’ve been there done that. My cousin took his helmet off threw his um2.jpg

pack down and started going through it to find all the tools needed to change the tube.

You know that look someone has? You know, when your waaay out in the back country and they have forgot to put a key part of the repair kit back in their pack? Yeah, that one. Luckily we had four cans of compressed air with us so, we decided to air the tire up with one can and make a run for it back to the truck 10-miles away. We made it a little over half way before we had to use the second can of air. We were so close we knew we were going to make it, no problem. We did made it back to the truck with two cans of air to spare.

“We got this,” we are saying to each other

“This is going to be such an easy fix we’ll be back on the trail in no time.”

Well not so fast. Remember how I told you Safety Sally refers some of our adventures to predicaments? Turns out, this is one of those.

As my cousin started to tear down the tire on the picnic table and as he pulled out the old tub he yells, “I found the problem.”

The tube didn’t have a small puncture, it had a huge tear in it. We were in luck, this time as he just happen to have a new tube he had left in the truck.

**Remember that Key Item he forgot to put back in his pack? Yup that one. The NEW TUBE!

With our smiles back on our faces we quickly put everything back together and put one of the cans of air in the new tube so we could get back on the trail. All was right in the world, until…I turn to my cousin and say do you hear that? It sounded like the air we had just put in the tube was rapidly escaping. I think at that moment a little air in our spirits left too.

Back to the picnic table to tear out the tube. The frustration was thick. Upon further inspection, we found he had also picked up a big thorn in the tire. UGH! When we replaced the tube and aired it up, the thorn immediately punctured the new tube. We both stood there thinking our day of riding had just come to an end. I looked up at my cousin chewing gum and scratching his head.

“Spit it out,” I said.

He looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes because he knew, at that moment, we were back in business. We smeared that gum on the hole and wrapped some black electrical tape around it so the bubblegum would stay in place just long enough to air up the tire. With fingers crossed we shot the last can of air in the tire and hoped for the best.

“IT WORKED,” we both yelled.

Back on the trail we went. A few weeks later we were out on another one of those favorite trails telling that story to our other riding buddies.

I turned and said to my cousin and asked, “Yeah, that worked in a pinch but you did put a new tube in after you got home didn’t you?”

He just gave me that smile behind his helmet that I know all so well. I just shook my head and laughed. He’s still riding on that bubblegum.

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