I kept admiring the beautiful sights and berating myself for being unwilling to stop to take some photographs, but let's face it: when you're cruising along on a beautiful day, the last thing you want to do is stop.
Nevertheless, I found myself in a dead-end parking lot with a beautiful view, so I forced myself to stop. Let's pause a moment and admire the photos, shall we?
Lovely, no? The "No Poaching" sign amuses me. You never know what you'll find in Reno! Oh, one more photo:
What's so special about that photo? I hear you exclaim. Well, if you look into about the center of the photo, you see where I stopped to fix a flat.
You see, after taking these photos, I hopped back on my bike (well, back on the bike seat) and rode off... only to notice an odd feel. Sure enough, I looked down and saw that my front tire was flat. Okiedokie.
So I found a patch of grass, and began the repair process. Right after I realized and corrected the fact that I rested my bike "expensive side down", a nice man in a truck pulled up and asked if I needed help. Since I already confirmed that I had a spare tube, my tire wrenches, a mini-pump, and a CO2 cartridge, I told him I was fine. Besides, if worse came to worst, I had a cell phone. He took another look at my bike and tools sprawled out, and hesitantly drove off.
All right, back to work. The tire came off relatively easily, the tube came out, the new tube went back in, and the tire went back on really easily. (A little too easily, actually. Putting the tire back on was always the hardest part for me.) Pumped it up a bit with the mini-pump and finished it off with the CO2. Propped up the bike and compared the pressure of the newly pumped front tire with the earlier perfectly pumped rear tire. (I always repump right before a ride.)
Wait a minute... Did you, by chance, think this was a happy story? Well, it's not a sad story, exactly, but it is a cautionary tale. Because what did I find when I reached back to feel the pressure of the rear tire? You guessed it: nothing. Flat as flat can be.
I only carry one spare tube. Well, make that carried. I shall carry two from this point forward.
It held a little bit of air, so I tried to pump it up and ride the flat. After stopping twice to repump, I gave up and walked back. Funny how you can ride out in only about 20 minutes, but it takes about an hour to walk back.
Oddly, no one stopped to offer help or a ride back (except for some cyclists, of course). I don't know whether I would have accepted a ride back, but it would have been nice to be asked. Plenty of people with trucks drove by, so it's not like they wouldn't have had space for the bike. Ah, well, no matter. I got in some good walking, and no longer was reluctant to stop to take pictures. You can go here to see the complete photo album.
I was grateful to cyclists who stopped to offer help, but it wasn't "help" I needed, it was a tube, and I wasn't going to make someone else ride with one less tube.
So, in any case, the moral of today's story: Don't believe that you'll only get one flat. Be prepared for more. The guy at the LBS (local bike shop) informed me that he even carries three on long rides. I'll be sure to take that under consideration!