Monday, February 21, 2011

Presta Valve Adapter

Two weeks ago, on a beautiful Super bowl Sunday afternoon, Josh and I decided to bike to Giant to do our grocery shopping. It is just under a mile away but it was a big deal for us, not having ridden our bikes anywhere from our new apartment. We got dressed for it, packed our backpacks, got the pump out, and then realized we couldn't go anywhere. Josh's bike, like most newer road bikes, uses presta tubes which require a valve adapter in order to pump the tires. I have one for my new bike but it is currently at my mom's office. We drove to Giant and made it a "priority" to get the little tube adapter.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, I woke up with a text from Ben inviting us to meet him and his friend at a South American food market in Adams Morgan. Still without the means to pump Josh's tires, biking, which would be so pleasant and convenient, wasn't an option. However, we know that area and we know there is a bike shop, City Bikes, right on the corner of Colombia and Euclid, across the street from the market. We decided to walk our bikes to Adam's Morgan, hang out with Ben and meet his friend, buy what we needed at City Bikes, and bike home. Buuuut, it would take us twenty or thirty minutes to walk and, once we were ready to leave, I talked to Ben and learned that the market isn't open this time of year and that they were almost done with the lunch they went to nearby. So we weren't going to Adam's Morgan and our bikes weren't taking a trip to the shop.

Today, two days after the second missed biking opportunity, Nikki and I had plans to go for a run and then bike ride. When we talked last night, though, we decided that we might want to run further and skip the ride. It was going to be a cold, rainy day, we are both getting over being sick, and Nikki had a lot of work to catch up on after her jam-packed forty-eight hours spent in NYC this weekend. Lying in bed, I grew frustrated by so many near bike rides that weren't working out and I decided I'd bike to her apartment before our run tomorrow. We normally start our runs separately, meet halfway between our places at Woodley Park, and run together from there. I rode the 1.7 miles to Nikki's in a light drizzle, we ran a long 8.26 miles together, went back to her place to stretch and drink water, and I returned home ready to shower, fill my stomach with delicious Vace's pizza, and cozy up on the couch for three hours. Today was good but it was a challenge. The bike ride to Nikki's, which I timed at 9 minutes, increased my optimism about the simplicity and efficiency of urban bike commuting. I think I'll be riding my bike a lot to get around but I think that might not produce too much to blog about, as these couple-mile rides could be repetitive. The run, however, wasn't great for my optimism. I blame it on a cold which has lasted me elven days and is just finally seeming to disappear but I was not too hot today. Four miles in, I felt like we had run seven. Running hills was a challenge and I wasn't able to talk through them like I normally am. I often lagged behind and caught up once on flatter terrain. And we had to stop and walk a few times at the end because I couldn't catch a deep breath. 13.1 miles would have been a hefty feat today and it was a little disheartening. But I am confident that I have a worthy excuse and it is always nice to spend 8 miles or more catching up with Nikki, hearing about her first trip to the big apple and planning a potential one to Topsail Island, North Carolina.

Now all that's left to do is buy this:

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