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I Fought Murphy's Law and the Law Won

Everyone knows Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Today's ride seemed like a great example of this law in action.

We headed out to Pogonip for a bit of riding in the forest. I wasn't feeling 100% but I didn't think too much about it. The ride started out well enough, but by the end of the Emma McCrary climb I could tell this was not going to be one of my more vigorous rides. That's happens sometimes. I took it easy on the climb up U-Con so I would have more energy on the rest of the ride.

Shortly after starting the singletrack at the top of U-Con the first of a series of mishaps struck. Climbing over a root, my tubeless tire expressed a large belch. I hopped off to check and found that the wheel would no longer turn. At first I thought I must have bent the rim somehow, but the root was not really that big of a deal. A closer check revealed that the tire was no longer beaded on the rim properly and was pushed to one side. I tried to put it back in place manually but had no luck. I let a bit of air out but that didn't help. I finally fully unseated the tire on the affected side and went to pump it back up. No dice! It didn't want to seal on its own and I couldn't generate enough of an air blast with my backpack pump to get it to seal. Crap!

Let's not panic. I have a tube in the bottom of the backpack for just such an occasion. After a bit of rummaging about, I found it. After a bit of assisted fumbling around with the tubeless stem, I got that out, the tube in the tire and the tire on the rim. A bit of pumping and I'd be back in business. Murphy's Law was invoked again as I discovered that no amount of pumping was going to inflate the tire and there was an odd hissing sound that wasn't coming form the pump head or the value. The spare tube had a hole.

OK. It could happen and it did. I suppose I could have patched it, but this is why you ride with buddies. Ken whipped out his spare and we repeated the whole process, this time without further incident, and continued on down the trail.

That should have been enough bad luck for one ride but it wasn't. As we headed out to the playground, we got to a bit of a tricky trail section. There is a moderate hill traversing climb followed by a left turn, up a short and steep climb that is topped by a large root and then a right turn with a small root. The big root usually causes problems, but occasionally we clear it. This time, some idiot though this was a major downhill run that he owned. He came down over the large root, missing Ken on the uphill side. Of course, this didn't allow him to see me a bit further down the trail. He came flying right at me, so I laid my bike and myself down on the uphill side of the narrow singletrack. He still managed to hit me but fortunately there was no damage done. His clever explanation was that it was Ken's fault because he didn't say anything about another rider being behind him! There was not too much to be gained by arguing with an idiot, so I let him go on his way.

I was a bit more careful on the rest of the ride. There were lots of bikes and lots of hikers out in the forest, so we kept a moderate pace. One might think that being careful and riding more cautiously are the explanation for not having more problems, but first part of the ride had not been too fast or reckless (though it was not wreckless!).  It was just Murphy's Law in action. At least it wasn't Darwin's Law in action!


Postscript: I didn't realize it initially, but there was a bit more to the bad luck convergence. I hadn't been feeling 100% at the start of the ride. This exploded into a full blown head and sinus flare-up with associated coughing later that night. I was sick pretty much the whole week, which happened to be pretty hectic at work. It was a very long week of feeling sick but not sleeping much. Then I developed a cough that lasted for about a month. I was definitely the loser in my fight with Murphy's Law.

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