On the Road: You’ve got to know when to fold ’em
Roulette’s all right in Vegas; but on a bicycle, it’s a flat-out bad bet. In the winter, I usually forget something on the way to the slopes – usually mittens, sometimes poles or goggles. Come spring, I’ve usually got it together when I head out on the bike.But Thursday I rode from Aspen to Woody Creek before I realized I’d forgotten my pump. I should’ve turned around right there. But it was so nice out, andI hadn’t gotten a flat in about a year. And in the warm sun the plan for a 40-miler from Aspen to Old Snowmass, up Snowmass Creek Road and back proved irresistible.So I rolled the dice. In a beeping and buzzing Mandalay Bay in Vegas a couple of weeks ago I won a few rounds betting red at the roulette table. But eventually the table won – it always does – and all the winnings vanished (OK, it was only 30 bucks).With the birds chirping and bees buzzing around my bike Thursday, I got to Old Snowmass and nearly back to the Woody Creek Tavern without incident.Then the front tire began hissing at me, and soon after I was on foot at the side of the road, walking to the tavern, where hopefully I’d call someone for a ride.Now, the opinion page of The Aspen Times carried a column Saturday about how rude, nasty and mean road cyclists are. It was just a rude, nasty and mean generalization.The first biker who passed me and my lame bike insisted I take his only CO2 cartridge, then basically changed my tire for me! Hey, Vegas would be a lot more fun if there were people who just walk around the casinos and hand you back the money you lose.Without another cartridge, my new friend then rode off to play his own game of flat-tire roulette. I hope he had better luck, and I hope I get a chance to return the favor. Thanks again.Shortly after, while I was screaming down the hill to Slaughterhouse Bridge, two deer pranced into the road just in front of me, and I had to brake hard to avoid them. What are the odds of that, I thought, getting a flat on the one day I forget a pump and then almost hitting a pair of deer. I’d lost the gamble, sure, but I’d almost hit the big bucks.
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