Day’s Verse:
3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

This morning as I rode up the hill on 112th NE, I noticed a distinct squishiness in my ride. I ride on 120 psi tires, and when fully inflated — as they were when I left this morning — they feel about as soft as rocks. I would never describe my tires, when functioning correctly, as “squishy.”

A quick stop confirmed my fear: My rear tire was slowly going flat on me on the first rainy day in a week. The good news is that I only had to ride a couple miles to the Bellevue Transit Center and my favorite bike shop. The next 10 minutes turned into a race against the air leaking out of my tire. I won, but just barely.

When I say “won,” of course, I mean I won the opportunity to change my flat in a dry space with a floor pump readily available. I didn’t actually pay Dean to change the flat, but he loaned me his floor pump and helped me seat the wheel right when I finished (I always have a hard time with that, thanks to disc brake finickiness). I found the location of the puncture without any problems, since the water on the tires bubbled as air escaped from the hole. Whatever had slit the tire did the deed and then escaped before I could wreak my retribution on it.

With the flat fixed, I rode on, arriving at work just before 10:00 to find my coworkers in a bit of a tizzy. I’d informed Every of my intention to arrive late, but Every threw her back out and didn’t come to work today. The remaining employees had become anxious for me when I didn’t get to work anywhere near the usual time. For bicycle commuters, extreme lateness can mean something really bad happened, and they worried that I’d crashed again. It’s very nice to work at a place where people care for you and wonder why you’re not doing the usual thing.

Speaking of “not the usual thing,” my other flat falls firmly into that category: The exercise ball that I’ve used as a chair for the last 5 months exploded this morning exploded while I sat on it. I fell smack onto my rear while the ball emitted a loud BANG!

The sound of the explosion spurred the bike shop guys to call, “Are you OK?” When one of them ventured back to see what had happened, he stood for a minute looking at me sprawled in the scattered wreckage of my chair and then started laughing. I had to join him — after all, I bet I looked really ridiculous falling as the ball exploded around me.

I’ve switched to a kind of bizarre chair that has a “cushion” made out of rows of very sturdy black bungee cords. Let’s just hope they’re up to the job… and that I don’t have any more flats today.

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