Another post-accident first for me today: I rode Landing Road, which is where I wiped out back in February. I have a rough idea where I crashed. I was headed westbound (towards Ilchester Rd) just a bit shy of the entrance to Rockburn Branch Park. There’s a downhill stretch in the area that curves to the right. If there was black ice in the area, and I hit it while banking to my right, the front wheel would lose traction and I’d fall on my right side, with the bike falling to my left. That’s pretty much what happened, though I had a concussion, so everything was a little hazy. Suffice it to say that come winter, I’ll either be avoiding this area, or riding with studded tires and extreme caution.
So, a couple weeks ago I got a flat on my single-speed bike, which has a new rear rim and new wire-bead Bontrager “Hard Case” 700cx28 tires. I gave myself a blister trying to get the tire back on the rim. I tried to use a tire lever to help, and ended up poking a hole in the tube. The tire lever didn’t help, anyhow: every time I’d pop part of the tire over the rim, an equal amount would come unseated on the opposite side. It was an exercise in frustration. So I ordered a couple of Kool Stop “Bead Jack” tools, hoping they’d help. They arrived yesterday, and they made quick work of the tire. No blisters, no punctured tubes, no swearing. I used both tools to keep the bead from unseating itself, but I could probably have done it with one. In any case, looks like I’ll need to carry one of these with me when I ride this bike. As for the tool itself, it’s made in Holland, and it’s good quality, sturdy plastic. The weak link is probably the hinge where the pivoting piece attaches to the shaft, so we’ll see how it holds up. In any case, I’m hoping I don’t have to use it that often.