Today my plan was to ride down Lawyers Hill Rd into the park, then through Oella and Catonsville. But I was stymied near the beginning of the ride by that rarest of rarities, a flat front tire. Flats on the front tire are so rare that this is the first one I can recall getting, ever. I put air in the tire right before the ride, and the tire blew out about 2 miles into the ride. There was no “bang” or “pop”.. at first there was a rubbing noise that sounded like something caught in the front fender, then that stopped, then I noticed the bike was riding rough, and saw that the tire was flat. I swapped out the tube, checked the tire for foreign objects (there were none that I could see) and took a shorter route the rest of the way to avoid being late to work. After remounting the front wheel, I saw that the front fender was out of alignment. The flat tire must have knocked it askew, which would account for the initial rubbing noise.
This could have been worse. The tire blew out on the park access road, where there is no traffic. It was a comfy 70 degrees out, and plenty of nice shade to fix the tire. Can’t complain too much. I’ll do a post-mortem on the tube this evening. This also gives me motivation to rotate the tires on this bike. The front tire is an old Vredestein Fortezza SE that I put on in Fall 2008, and is well past its prime. I’ll take the Continental that’s currently on the back and move that to the front, and I have a brand-new Continental that I’ll put on the back.