I awaken and it is still raining. I must move, I have no extra water. Besides, the location is very buggy and my tent is wet on the inside and out. I pack up inside. My tent is littered with dead mosquitoes. I step outside to pack up and am assaulted. I manage to get the whole soggy tent onto my bike, though it is difficult to hold the bike upright and pack – the kickstand broke yesterday. Standing still is crazy making with the mosquitoes.
I walk the loaded bike to the road and start to ride- it feels funny. I get off and check it out- the back tire is flat again. What to do, what to do? The other inner tube has a slow leak too.- I have attempted to patch it already. So I decide that my first priority is not the tick on my back, but to get a good inner tube. I decide to skip seeing Lunenburg and head 16 miles straight up the 103 highway to Bridgewater where I have been told there is a Canadian Tire Company which sells bicycle parts.
I have to stop and fill up the back tire every 2 miles. I keep watch on my gps. Now my GPS shows me an alternate rout, where 3 parallels 103, and I decide to take it. The first building is a veterinarians office. I pull in to have my tick pulled.
The 4 month pregnant vet examines my back. “All I see is a very distressed mole” she says. Oh, what a relief, it is not a tick after all. I just couldn’t see it, and it felt like a tick, and I tried to scrape it off in my slightly freaked out state. She also tells me that the rain will break this afternoon and it will get sunny. I leave feeling sunnier.
I make it to Bridgewater after having stopped to pump up my back tire 9 times. At Canadian Tire I get a tube, some insect repellent, and then go to Walmart for a snack. I change the tube and eat lunch on the sunny picnic tables. Phew, everything is going to be OK.
I am all set, everything worked out, it always does, that is the lesson. I have just seen it happen again. Yay! Then I notice my back tire feeling funky. I stop, the rear tire is flat. I have made it 6 kilometers. I get my bike off the road, unpack it, and take it apart again.
The hole is in the same place, right next to the valve stem. I patch it, put it back together and pump it up. It leaks air, I hear it. I take it apart again, redo the patch, being as careful as I can. I put a liner on the rim to protect the tube. I reassemble. I have done my very best, there is nothing I can do better. It leaks- I hear air coming from the wheel…. I don’t know what to do next.
Then Merle from next door comes over, sees my plight, and offers to help. Merle is very handy. He punches a hole in a long patch that fits over the tube nipple, and we repair the tire. It seems to hold air. We then repair my other tube in the same manner. His wife has shown up to assist too. The assembled tire is holding air. I am so grateful. Thanks Merle and Nancy.
See- things do work out! I ride into beautiful Mahone Bay.
I find a beautiful spot next to Martin’s river to make camp. It is not very buggy. I get all my wet gear out from last night and hang it up to dry in the trees.
I go for a long cooling swim.
The site is perfect, I am feeling great and happy to be alive and cycling again. I check the rear tire confidently, just give it a little squeeze.
It is flat.