November Riding Hazards

I was on a club ride the other day . . . well, I was almost on a club ride the other day. To save on driving and gasoline, and inspired by Lynn Thompson and Jan Oestereich who rode to the start of a Wednesday Morning Explorer ride from east Gresham the week before, I decided to do the same. Unfortunately, just blocks away from the start, a ½-inch shard of glass in my tire meant that I didn’t reach the start in time. I fixed the flat, rode to Troutdale alone, and returned to Gresham. As I rode, worrying about the potential for a second flat on my surely underinflated tire, I reflected on the many flats I have experienced. There seem to be two truisms – they are usually on the rear wheel and, particularly when I’m alone, seem to be accompanied by rain (all true this time!). As fall advances the roads are getting messier and messier. Flats may become a more frequent nuisance for all of us, so packing extra tubes or at least a patch kit is suggested. But messy, gravelly and leaf-covered roads, shorter days, and bad weather also bring increased risks to our riding. Please use extra caution. Use lights religiously, keep them charged or replace waning batteries; put extra space between you and other riders; and slow down!

Pat McManus, President