You know when you hit something in the road and it’s bad. Your tire flats almost instantly. A catastrophic blowout can be a little spooky, unless you’re prepared.
I’ve been carrying the same flat kit for five years and never needed the extra pieces… until Sunday morning, 25 miles out. Way too far to walk home…
One minute I was happily cruising down the road with my friends, the next I was on the side of the road with my rear wheel off, wondering how I was going to limp my bike home.
I was prepared, though. I hadn’t been carrying around extra measures for nothing. I got my tire levers out of my pack and pulled the tube and tire. I inspected the inside of the tire… the puncture was clean through the Michelin Pro 4 Endurance kevlar. It had to be a piece of metal or glass in the road I hadn’t seen. I reached into my pack and pulled out a package of Specialized Flat Boys. Scuffed up the inside of the tire with the sandpaper and applied the adhesive patch over the gash. Then I installed the tire, then the new tube… and then, the trick; a good old-fashioned Dollar bill folded in half, twice – once the short way, then once the long way.
Without that dollar I’d have been pooched. Even with the Flat Boy or another patch, it wouldn’t have been enough to keep the tube in the tire. The inflated tube would have pushed through the tear in the tire and it would’ve blown inside of minutes. Instead, I rode the remaining 40 miles of that ride with a smile on my face (wondering the whole time if the roadside patch would hold).
One final, very important little tip: Make sure the tire flap from the gash is pointing the right way, no matter the rotational recommendation of the tire. You want the gash facing so the rotating tire will slap it shut every time around. If it’s backwards, the road can open it up a little bit every revolution. When the gash is atop the wheel, as in my first photo, you want the flap pointing to the back of the bike.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the last little laugh line from my buddy, Brad. I was standing in line at the counter to purchase a Coca-Cola (orange vanilla, it’s FANTASTIC) and Brad comes up behind me and says, “Hey, I’ll pay for that Coke for ya so you don’t have to take your bike apart”. We had a good laugh over that one.
Without my recovery, there’s nothing. No wife, no kids, no house, no job, no cars, no cycling, no freedom, no happiness, no joy… I will freely give all of those away to stay drunk. I have no control once alcohol enters my system. And the notion that I might successfully use some other drug in lieu of alcohol because alcohol is my “drug of choice” is simply preposterous. Laughable to the extent that anyone who believes such nonsense doesn’t have what I have. Living in the solution, a life without mood or mind-altering substances, is the only way that works for an addict like me. That’s just how I roll.
With that in mind, and considering I’m woefully short on time lately, due to work, how can I stay up on my recovery with only three waking hours after work?
Technology offers so many options to maintain recovery, it’s hard to imagine how they did it back in the 1930’s.
My sponsor and I split duties when it comes to opening up our favorite meeting. Normally we open it together after we have dinner together, but when one of us goes on vacation, the other takes the solo responsibility. The other day it was my turn. As is often the case in the early spring on a nice evening, attendance is sporadic. I was the only one to show.
I opened my Joe and Charlie tapes app and listened to “How It Works”. Then, for a laugh, on the way home I listened to “about sex” because there’s nothing funnier than a couple of old-timers offering a lesson on coitus. To say I pulled in the driveway with a smile on my face was an understatement. I was refreshed. Happy. Content. Comfortable in the knowledge that everything was as it should be. Revived is a good word. Rejuvenated might be even better. Other days I’ve read from the Daily Reflections, or from the Big Book itself. I can call my sponsor, work on a resentment, work with a newcomer, or write a blog post… Whatever it takes put the focus back on what matters most; another day clean and sober is my only hope for a happy existence.
The most important thing to remember as a recovering addict and alcoholic is without recovery, there’s nothing else.
And I can have my misery of living in addiction back any time I want it. All I have to do is take a drink.