Plus Minus

Today has been such a hodgepodge I can only hit the highlights in a plus/minus system:

+5 points: second consecutive day bike commuting – and I was on time today!

+5 points: the weather was phenomenal – like 60*F when I left at 6:28am!


-10 points: get call from school nurse in the afternoon. Daughter needs to be picked up.


-10 points: Flat back tire when I get my bike from the rack.

+5 points: I’m a pro at fixing flats. Like it only took 15 minutes. Woot!

-5 points: hands covered in grease, blood, and sweat by the end of this particular flat repair.

-5 points: three spoke have poked through the rim tape! Wondering how the hell shitty tires AND pokey spokes got past the LBS when I sent the bike in to be overhauled. Did they even LOOK at my bike?


+100 points: ingeniously deciding to use tube patches to temporarily seal the pokey spokes away from my new tube.

– 1,000 points: CO2 inflates cold, quickly, and if you slightly overinflate on a hot day – BOOM.

(yeah, I did hang my head there and felt slightly defeated – burned through my only spare tube!)


+100 points: commuter friend has a spare in my tube size! hooray!

+100 points: AND he has a hand pump with a pressure gauge!


And we’re off …


+100 points: detouring up Rex Avenue after viewing two hidden statues in the park

-200 points: 10% grade, no climbing gears, big rocks. Had to throw in the towel only a 1/10th of the way up the half-mile. Walked my bike a boss.


it's pretty ... much a very old cobblestone road
it’s pretty … much a very old cobblestone road that goes UP


Feeling beat cycling home. Backpack feels heavy and legs feel shredded.

Take daughter to the local urgent care – sure enough, she broke her arm.

Finally getting dinner at 9:30pm. Hate to admit I’m taking the train tomorrow – today was just too much excitement.


As a parting image, here’s a snapshot from yesterday’s commute. I’m wearing my very favorite jersey (Twin Six Grand Prix) which just so happens to match my commuter bike. I couldn’t resist being all matchy-matchy. Jersey came first, just for the record. πŸ˜€

best jersey/bike combo ever
best jersey/bike combo ever


See you on the road …. just not tomorrow.

Author: Laura

wife. mother. kick-ass girl. all mountain, all road adventurer by bike.

14 thoughts on “Plus Minus”

  1. Matchy-match club!! I can’t believe your daughter broke her arm! Poor girl, hope she heals up quick. Your day was LOADED, a lot went on. May your future rides be more pluses than minuses πŸ™‚

    1. Aw – thanks. It was just one of those “when it rains it pours” type day.

      Except the actual rain waited until after I’d been home to arrive. +5 points. πŸ™‚

  2. Lots going on …what to comment on….

    First – daughter … ack on her arm. I hope she feels better now … what happened?

    Next – SPoke thingys sticking up through rim tape….they must have been true-ing the wheels? And did not cut down the tips? Hmmm….not good. I bet if you saved the tube to show them the holes are on the rim side they might at least give you a new tube…err…except for the blow out! Ack. (I just bought one of those CO2 cartridges….

    Nexter – Blood? What did you cut your hand on? (I wonder if AllSeasons has some product for blood-stop-bleeding haha. Sorry…not funny I know …but AllSeasons really does seem to have alot of stuffs!)

    May I ask what kind of bike you have? I am in the process of buying a road bike…my choice is either a Cannodale (not sure what model…I look at it tomorrow)…or a Trek Madrone 2.1.

    1. 1. Daughter was playing soccer at recess. Somehow the ball hit her fist with such force as to break her radius bone. She was also the second kid in the urgent care that evening with the same injury, same way it happened.

      2. I don’t even think they looked at the tires and rims. I’ve had my doubts since I picked up the bike and they hadn’t even messed with the (very old) bar tape. Will probably head back to chat with them tonight.

      3. Blood. When I was pushing my tire lever my hand slipped and I bent back a portion of my thumbnail. Not a ton of blood – but enough to think “are you kidding me??”

      4. Buy a bike you love. I mean really love. Like it becomes an extension of your soul. My Felt ZW5 is everything I need and want. I test-rode a ton of bikes and she’s the one I felt happiest and most comfortable on. In the last year, I’ve put probably 2,000 miles on her. I’m in the process of changing out the saddle from the stock one, but I think I may have found one that works with my butt bone spacing. LOL

      Trek and Cannondale are both excellent companies – whichever bike feels best, that’s the bike for you. πŸ™‚

      Good luck!~

    2. PS – my commuter bike I picked up off Craigslist. She’s a Peugeot racing-style bike from the 80s. So I only have 12 gears but she’s fast on flats. She’s not perfect but I love her so much. And she matches my favorite jersey – so how can I go wrong? πŸ™‚

      1. Late responses from me *smiles*

        1) It sounds like your daughter will not be playing soccer for a bit….I am sorry she broke her bone…the ball must have been coming at her super fast and hit her bizzarely to have it break! Though … another with the same injury?!?!? That is just too strange. Ack.

        2) What did the bike people say? Wait…I know you have another blog posted…maybe the answer is there….

        3) Ow….I hate when my nail pulls back. (I garden some…and this happens occasionally. ow again. ow.)

        4) I picked up a bike this past Thursday night lol. It is really the first racer I have had in a long time…so getting used to it. I think I have to change my saddle too … not sure yet, I want to ride a few weeks to see how it feels. I might go into a shop that offers a real fitting. but I am debating, as they charge $100. They do a WHOLE work up….questions, measure all kind of things on you … swap out seats. handle bars, etc if needed. They said it normally takes about 2 hours.

      2. If there is one thing you should never think twice about in cycling, it’s a professional fitting. Riding your bike should feel like an extension of your soul. An ill-fitting bike or parts can pull you out of bicycling nirvana very quickly.

        Many shops offer a free pro fitting if you spent a certain dollar amount on your bike – see if that was included? If not, definitely scrape together the $100 – it’s worth it in the end.

      3. Ok….I will get a fit then. I was debating because I have not ever had one done and had not really heard of it. But you are the 3rd person to tell me this…and that means there must be someting to it. I will call today and schedule an appt.

        Oh … the bike I bought was used, so not from the bike shop I normally go to. But I made sure that the frame was the correct height … (I hope I got it right) … I have not tried clipless pedals yet either…and know I want to get there….but baby steps….*smiles*

        Oh, it is a Cannondale…and older model. Forest green…I will post a blog and photo at some point.

    1. Thanks. It was just a lot of “really? now?” – which I’m 2-for-2 on flats-when-I-need-to-get-home-for-real. I carry my train pass just in case … but I didn’t want to leave my bike overnight downtown.

  3. Hope your daughter is feeling better and hope you have had a better day today. Loving the matching jersey and bike by the way! – Simone

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