So there I was, ten minutes from home and racing the rain on my first real ride outside in more than a week. Flat tire. Okay, okay, haven't flatted in training all winter, funny it needs to happen now, but so be it, universe. Pull out the spare tube and think "hmm, that valve doesn't look very long," but proceed. I stare for a few minutes at my repaired but uninflatable wheel, valve not even visible from the rim, waiting for either divine inspiration or intervention. Okay, universe, okay, TOUCHÉ, you got me.
BUT, and this is where the story gets good, then along comes a kind samaritan--no, a bike trail angel--who stops and accepts as a trade my impotent, diminutive-valved tube for his significantly more virulent tube, and within minutes I'm rolling again, shaking my fist at the skies all the way home, at which point they released an unholy rain that hasn't stopped since. Take that, universe! Or maybe, more accurately, I'll take it, universe!
Finally I'm up to two steps forward with only one step back, rather than the opposite. After my little velodrome miscalculation last weekend the riding has been great; two hours a day, little bit of intensity, and now back on the road thanks to my latest tinkering (pictured below). I even came up with a new roller workout: ride as hard as you can until you can see yourself in the puddle of sweat. It takes me about an hour, time yourself at home!