I like to tell the joke on bike to work day, “I’d ride my bike to work, but my wife doesn’t like it when I ride in the house.” I have worked remotely (at home) for several companies for the better part of 7 years. I consider myself an adept remote worker. When a friend of mine offered me to work with him, you’d think I’d think twice about the set-up.

Go into the office? Why?!? Well, first of all, going into the office is optional, I can still work from home. But I can also get away from any home distractions, which are surprisingly few as I’ve managed them over the years. However, I like the in-person conversations I’ve missed over the last 7 years.

Working from Home via The Oatmeal

The monitor on my desk at the office is 27″, so I’ve got that goin for me. But I think the primary consideration for me was the location. The office is exactly 1 mile from my house. It is also entirely downhill ๐Ÿ˜Ž I now have the opportunity to become a full-time bike commuter as there are literally zero excuses. Some people think I’m crazy because I have a perfectly good car. But riding to work really hasn’t been bad even on the shortest and coldest Minnesota days.

I specifically recall riding home on December 21st, the shortest day of the year. I left at 5PM and while the sun was already down, the twilight of dusk was nice enough to provide me with a pleasant ride home. I did have to ride with lights, it just didn’t seem like the middle of the night .

My first ride in 2016

To clarify, I don’t ride into work every day. I enjoy biking and I’m an evangelist but not a hard-liner. If I’ve got to go somewhere far right after work, I’m going to drive in.

I procrastinated riding in during my first full week at work in 2016. We finally got some big snowfalls over the holidays. I was driving in because I hadn’t yet switched over to studded tires on my bike. I finally mounted the tires so I could ride in by Friday. I got up early to make sure I had enough air in the freshly swapped tires, fastened on my pannier and rode off. The ride in was great, a little snowy but the cloud cover meant it was comparatively warm.

At work a couple of coworkers admired my bike and were astonished I’d ridden in on a snowy day. It took one co-worker over an hour to drive in to the office – bleh!

Later that morning, there was a loud bang that came from near the front door that sounded like a gunshot. A woman from the neighboring company that sits closest to our entrance door screamed. I (and several co-workers) wondered aloud what it was. One of the concerns was that there was a shooter in the building. My friend Tom, who’s dad owned a gun range, remarked that it sounded like “AD” – accidental discharge. One of our coworkers apparently conceals and carries, and while he was on vacation Tom wondered if he had come back a day early.

I certainly did not rush to the entrance since there was a possibility of firearms involved. I was actually concerned about those who were getting up to investigate. Then someone reported back that it was my bike tire that exploded!

bike-tire-exploded
You can just patch that up

We all had theories about the expansion of gases since my bike was pumped up outside and was now being stored inside, but I don’t think that is entirely to blame since it wasn’t really that cold – โ‰ˆ24ยฐF. Luckily I came prepared with an extra tube and a C02 cartridge. I installed the new tube at lunch and filled it up so I could ride home alive and not shot dead. But when I left that afternoon my spare had gone flat as well. I hitched a ride with a coworker who was also still alive and not shot dead.

My suspicion is that it was a combination of things that caused the explosion. First there was obviously something sharp touching the tube (because of the 2nd flat). Over the weekend I checked the pressure of the rear tire with a gauge separate from the one on the bike pump, it was over-inflated. I think the 2nd factor was that the bike pump gauge was somewhat frozen, not fully reading however much I actually pumped into the tire. I purchased two new tubes and some new rim tape since the 2nd (patch-able) puncture on my spare tube was near the valve stem.

Live and learn. I’m just glad I’m still around to tell about it.

3 thoughts on “New Job, biking to work, I didn’t die

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