Ah, Monday...you suck!
It's been ages since I've had a flat, period. And it's been even longer since I had a flat on a commute (like, two years). And I've NEVER had a flat on a morning commute. There's a first time for everything.
As I was nearing the furthest edge of Denver West...almost home free...two things happened simultaneously: first, I realized there was excessive bounce and drag in each pedal stroke. I looked down to see if my tire looked soft. Before I could visually ascertain what I knew to be true through the use of my proprioceptive sense the second thing happened; namely a jackass redneck in a '70s era Chevy pickup became too impatient to just pass me in the full left lane in the 30mph speed zone and "gunned" what must have been at some time a Chevy V8, probably a 350. This morning it was masquerading as a slant 6 or maybe a 4.5 cyl. Oh, and when he put the pedal to the floor and the truck "surged" forward it sounded like his muffler was going to explode and shoot off over the plains, never to be seen again as it rocketed through the skies toward Kansas. The Mufflo-fascist gave me a scathing glare through the dirty rear window of the truck as he tried to cut me off. The effect was a bit weak, since he barely got up to the posted speed limit. I chuckled even as I scowled back at him.
I stopped just shy of NREL (where the Mufflo-fascist finally came to a stop in a cloud of mortal smog) and checked the tire. Yep, mostly flat. I jammed a few pounds of air into it and took off as fast as I could. I didn’t make it. I finally gave up in Pleasant View, just after turning on 10th Ave and put a new tube in. The stupid "Quick Stik" I had in my saddle bag wasn't so quick. I'd rather have had my tire levers. But alas, I rode the OBS this morning and the levers were in the pannier of the Cannonball at home. Then the tube was welded into the tire. It took me a few minutes to peel it out and then get the new one in. I had taken off my gloves to make the change and by the time I got back on the bike to cover the last mile or so my fingers were numb and I was beginning to feel the cold everywhere else.
Its really hard to jack up your mood when the jack has sunk into the mud and the frame of the beast is firmly resting on terrafirma. I was only 20 minutes late, and no one fussed, but it was still hectic getting in and getting ready. I had to go scrub my hands to try and get the road grime and chain grease off. Foul mood persists even now. In the immortal words of Brenda Ann Spencer: I don't like Mondays.
I want to go home.