Leaving for work yesterday morning I found the rear tire partially deflated. While I can’t equate the lesson strictly to riding a bike, one thing I’ve learned from my time in the saddle that sometimes little setbacks have a purpose far beyond being a nuisance.

My assist in the rescue of Acorn the Jindo last July near USC pretty well illustrates that.

So while I don’t look forward to flats with anything resembling unchecked glee, I understand when they happen there may be a bigger picture involved.

In this case, nothing remotely heroic resulted from the delay. But the deflation probably saved me a future flat from this teensy fragment of glass I unembedded in the tread of my tire (that’s the edge of a dime in the back there):

See it turns out the flat wasn’t caused by this fella. It wasn’t until submerging the re-inflated tube under water and searching for the hole that I discovered the wee breach on the inside of the tube near the base of the stem, probably resulting either from a defect on the rubber or from basic wear/tear, or both. But had that flat not happened I might not have ordered up an inspection of the tire’s tread and found this potential culprit.

So the other lesson is that it always pays to get your eyeballs and fingertips close to the treads just as a regular matter of course, because you never know what’s gonna get stuck in there to eventually push itself through to make the tire go pssssssssssssh! at a later date.