Saturday, July 19, 2008

The other shoe drops...

I knew that my fortunes were bound to change after the superior greeting that I received upon my arrival in New York/Jersey... Welcome to my first flat tire.

Somewhere between trying to find Orange County Choppers and the hotel, (probably my little detour around Brooklyn) I picked up a...  it looks like a shiv... (see pic). It is a little metal shaving from something - it looks a little medieval to me. I could also have picked it up  from riding on the side of the road and not obeying proper driving etiquette. Staying within the lines is hard to do when it is 97 degrees and the humidity is off the charts and you are backed up 9 miles to the Washington Bridge, which was the only access to where I was going. That is one of the main flaws about NYC. It is still an island and islands are not always easy to get off of or on to. Everything bottlenecks at the bridges and tunnels.
This little nub of metal was protruding about an 1/8th of an inch out of my rear tire - it was a slow enough leak that I didn't notice and was able to get home on it. Now comes the task of fixing the tire temporarily so I can get someplace for a new tire or a permanent patch - something I don't have with me - yet. I have tire plugs for any hole, but those aren't meant for permanence, at least not the plugs that I have. 

30 minutes later...

I seem to have sorted it out well enough, except that the plug is not holding air. I will see what things are like in the morning (it took 5 hours to release 20 psi, but that was without moving and it isn't supporting weight), and I to have to re-inflate the tire several times during tomorrow's 175 miles (at a slow pace). I may have to replace the plug I have put in, unloading the bike and putting air in the tire. Like the shampoo bottle says... "wash, rinse, repeat" until I get to North Kingstown, RI.

I blame this situation on Jung's idea of the collective unconscious. Since I have been on the road I have adapted my riding to whichever state/city/town that I am in at the time. The typical New York driver has an aggressive, "I need to get there first at all cost" type of attitude that I don't enjoy riding in because they are an arrogant driver, but to survive on these roads you need to be very aware, yet thinking aggressive or always looking for the escape route. Since the whole city drives this way I felt that it was a collective unconscious action by all, but if I remember my high school psychology correctly; according to Jung the collective unconsciousness was not personally acquired but "inherited" somehow in the brain structure. It is a reservoir of all human memory and experience that could somehow be tapped into, just not acquired like the way I am trying to make it into. It is over 20 years since that class so I may not be explaining it right, but that is the way that I remember what Jung was saying about it. So let's take Jung out of the equation and just say that driving habits are universally shared in an unconscious way. 

So, long story short, there I was driving like a New Yorker and I screw up my "driving karma" by driving outside the law and get a flat tire. (I know that is just a contemporary version of karma and not a real example of karma) I can't say that I will never drive in the breakdown lane, but I will do so when I am not in a city with so much trash on the roads. Jersey is clean by comparison to NYC and Brooklyn. The lead up to and from the Washington Bridge seems to have the most junk on the roads. 

All this drivel just because I get a flat tire. Imagine what spews out when I am having real difficulties.

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