Tuesday I got to work and noticed the rear tire on Minus was lacking some of its hideous green rubber down its middle. I knew the tires were going to need replacement, but I hadn't noticed they'd gotten so bad. All this mountain biking silliness...
Anyway, I wondered it if I'd even be able to make it home. I'd have to.
But, as I am wont, instead of riding straight home at a modest pace I blazed east into Denver to Salvagetti to pick up a couple of new sneaks. I took my old commute from when we lived in Denver, and then I took a hard left at Julian up to 38th and over a block to Irving.
Within minutes I had two Continental Gatorskins and was on my way via Irving up to 46th, then over to Lowell, and on up to the Clear Creek Trail which I took west to Ralston Creek Trail and then on into Arvada. So I rode 18 more miles at an 18mph average instead of my normal 9 miles home. It was fun.
I had a quick and "grippy" commute in Wednesday morning.
Tire/wheel maintenance is something I never dealt with in the east. I only experienced flats when I didn't ride the bike for a long time. I never bought new tires. But Denver...egad! I've learned a lot about tire wear, patching and replacing tubes, and goathead prevention.
The difference is not just geography. In the past five years I've gone from someone that may have ridden 500 miles a year to someone who rides 5,000+ miles a year. I've gone from predominantly rural roads to predominantly urban and suburban roads. And I'm much faster than I was when I lived two timezones to the east.
My style of cycling is hard on tires.
I do try to be cognizant of how I brake to avoid unnecessary wear. I'm not a frivolous tire consumer. I've learned to be vigilant to avoid obvious debris and flora in my path. Of course, commuting in the dark makes it hard to miss everything.
At least I'm free of those oogly green tires. They came with the bike when I bought it, and I could never justify replacing them because they seemed to work just fine. Good riddance!