LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along
Screw this, nail that
Spend enough time entrusting your life to a couple of thin strips of rubber and latex, and you’re bound to keep your eyes peeled for pricks.
Normally, the greatest threat to my bike tires is glass, and in certain parts of the city on certain days, there’s plenty to dodge, hop and, occasionally, roll through with fingers crossed. It doesn’t take long to learn what kinds of glass pose the biggest threats.
Potholes can eat tires, too, and occasionally a thorn or stick can cause a dreaded puncture.
But lately — and, again, I’m at kind of a loss to explain it — I’ve noticed our fair city streets are positively strewn with … fasteners. Our roads are screwy with screws, assailed by nails.
Maybe it’s building season.
Just the other day, during routine rides to school with my son and, later, to work and back, I counted a dozen rubber-threatening fasteners directly in my path: a bunch of ordinary nails, a couple of galvanized roofing nails, a massive lag bolt and a wicked-looking three-inch wood screw.
Awhile back, I even noticed a run of nail-gun ammo. I’m sure they fell out of the back of a pickup or bounced out of a trailer, but I found it odd to happen upon clips of nail-gun nails in distinctly different parts of the city about the same time: Old West Lawrence, the west side, downtown and by the hospital.
Must have been the work of a serial nailer.
While there are many threats to rubber’s integrity — I once rolled, unscathed, through a scattered box of razor blades — I consider fasteners the most dangerous. Many tend to blend into the road, and they lie in wait.
Rolling over one tends to make it stand at attention, and — pffffffftttttt, hisssssssss — it’s time to repair a tube.
I stop when I can to clear the road, but it’s sometimes not practical.
So I roll on, ever vigilant, always on the lookout for my next screw.