Today was one of those mornings when nothing went according to plan. I was getting ready to ride to work, and I went to check on my bike, and the back tire was flat as a pancake. The tire is brand spanking new, and I had taken a grand total of 1 ride on it, yesterday. Turns out the problem wasn’t the tire. I took it off the rim and found that the tube was punctured on the rim side. I couldn’t find any sharp spots on the rim in the general area of the puncture, so I’m wondering if a metal shaving got caught between the tube and the rim or something (the rim is also brand new). I’m going to replace the rim tape, remount the tire, shrug my shoulders, and hope it doesn’t happen again.
The other big story this morning was the weather. Rain was in the forecast this morning, so I did my customary check of the radar before I set out (on my other bike). All clear. But as the saying goes in Maryland, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. After about 10 minutes of riding, it started pouring and the winds kicked up to seemingly near-monsoon speeds. The rain died down to a light drizzle, but the winds kept up for the duration of my ride. I’d swear that there were a couple spots where I was pedaling into 50 or 60mph gusts. Must have been a frontal passage, but it certainly made for an exciting ride.
Last weekend I put SPD pedals on my mountain bike, to replace the “Power Grips” I had on it over the winter. I was planning on giving this bike a break this week, but the flat tire on my other bike pressed it back into service. So today was also my first ride on the SPDs, and given the weather, it was a “trial by fire” of sorts. The pedals worked great, with no problems at all. We’ll see how they do over the long hall. These are Shimano’s lower-end SPD pedals, model PD-M520. Having no experience at all with mountain bike pedals, I went with these over similarly-priced pedals from Crank Bros. based on the online reviews. No one really had anything bad to say about the PD-M520s. They seem to be solid and well-made, and I’m willing to bet that other than the weight, there’s likely not much difference between these and the pricier models. These aren’t the lightest pedals in the world, and you won’t see many racers using them, but I think they’ll be perfect for commuting.