Behold: the classic snakebite flat. I got it biking home Tuesday night.Â Bonus points that it was raining at the time. More bonus points that the rain was nothing much more than a steady shfitz, the kind that doesn’t drench and cleanse the city so much as it loosens the embedded roadway oils and grit, creating a wafer-theen sheen of slippery that makes the going very tentative for those of us who don’t like to falldowngoboom.
SoÂ there I was on 8th, eastbound through the Miracle Mile area of town a couple blocks from Hauser, heading to Cochran where I’d go north to 4th and further east. Don’t scorn me for iPodding while biking (or go ahead if you must), but occasionally I like to ride with a soundtrack and since I had the late streets pretty much to myselfÂ (it was around 8:30), Patrick Lee’s catchy-cool “The Pound” was augmenting the awesomeness I feel of commuting in a manner that 98.247% of my fellow urbanites usually don’t — 99.689% under such inclement conditions.
I was “fully taking the lane,” which IÂ do mostly when hazardous conditions exist either in the form of debris/road damage on the right or unsafe vehicular passings on the left — or when I’m getting my groove on along in the dark. Speaking of which, in fact, I was even upright off the bars and clapping my hands to the infectious melody when I dropped with surprise into a decent pothole that compressed my front tire to the rim. Clunk.
Having done that enough times in my cyclings, I came out of that jarring knowing that more than likely my front tire was flat but just didn’t know it yet. Given the puncture picture above, I honestly don’t know how the innertube managed to admirably stay inflated all the way to Cochran and all the way up to 6th, but sure enough there at the red light it finally gave in to the breach, and I pulled onto the sidewalk to change her out. In the shfitzy rain. With Patrick Lee’s “The Pound” on repeat.
Occasionally I’d look up at the people hermetically sealed up in their climate-controlled conveyances stopped at the red and I’d see them looking at me. Their expressions varied between “Oh look at that poor guy with the broken bike in the rain!” to “Why would any self-respecting angeleno be caught dead on a bike in such weather!?!”
In 10 minutes I was back on the road. Even took a detour from 4th up La Brea to Fountain and across to Sunset that lengthened the remaining distance home because that’s the kind of self-respecting angeleno I am.