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So I was out for a great ride last night with my friend Brian D. and his bud Dave S., who rode up from St Norbert on their mtbs and linked up with me near Waverley & McGillivray.  Our cunning plan was to ride to the Forks via pathways and river trails, then meet up with our wives for supper there and then ride back to Saint Norbert to end their rides and let me get some more distance back home.

Weather was awesome (+27 C - mid Sep - sweet!) and we had a good blast riding on trails mostly.  The gals showed up and we had a great meal and some "it's a small world" connection time with new acquaintances.  Then we put on the flashers/lights and headed south via some quiet roads and way too much of Pembina (not a bad road at night, but still too much traffic).  Good blast though and at over 60 kms by that point, a good workout.

So now it's totally dark and I'm looking to get back to my western St James home turf fairly quickly ... so I decide to head north up Waverley (never again) until I can cut west over to Fort Whyte and Ass. Park.  Now I knew there were no shoulders on Waverley, but I was well lit up from behind (Brian insisted on me having a second rear flasher - thanks bud) and with my bright headlight I was good to go ...

I figured that traffic would be light in the evening, but in fact it was crazy busy and so I had to keep jumping off the pavement onto the rutted gravel shoulder (no problem for my 29-er Karate Monkey), which was ok, but it was littered in places and I found myself dodging colorful stuff ... until ... kapow! ... my rear tire blew in the loudest tire burst I've heard in a while and I was swerving in the dark (fortunately away from the traffic!).

Whatever sliced through my tire was real sharp and made short work of my 'tough-stuff' 29-er tire.

As I assessed the damage, I remembered that my spare chunk of tire that's always in my mtb repair kit was on my dualie mtb (keeping up with multiple bikes does have one downside ).  But as I paused to have a little Gel Pack boost, I had an idea (ok, I've seen this posted on some biking blogs) that my Gel Pack wrapper would make a fine tire patch in a pinch!

So after a couple trys at getting the wrapper to stay in place (it's actually easier if it's still sticky from some of it's contents) even after inflation ... voila:

Sweet ... one shiny, foil and synthetic tire patch ... easy - smeazy!

But would it work all the 15 kms home?
Better stick to pavement (boring but effective!) and watch out for rocks and stuff ...

Turns out the Gel Pack patch worked just fine and by the end of my ride I was back to cruising speeds again.  Once I was in the garage, I snapped this pic ... I can even check on the gel's ingredients ... funny things always seem to happen in the night !

So there ya go ... Gel Packs - not just for energy!

nice job mcguiver

I had some time to put together a video remix of our excellent ride around town and to upload it onto my YouTube channel ...

Check it out: MTB Ride with Brian & Dave to The Forks - 18 Sep 09:

"Music and Biking Makes Me Happy" ... I'm Happy!
It was great to see Brian and Lael again ... I very much enjoyed meeting Natasha and Dave!  Cool vid Tom!!  However, I don't like the looks of that ride up Waverley...yikes!  Definitely in need of an official bike lane.....
Cool improv Tom.  That is maybe the nastiest tire gash I've ever seen - what a crazy blow.  Amazing that the gel pack kept you going the whole way home with a gash that big.

I've ridden down the length of Waverly once, w. Graham and Deanna.  The company was good - the ride, not so much. What a crummy street.

BTW, great vid/photo montage.  Looks like it was a perfect day/night for riding.

Yup, that was an impressive slice and blow-out ... I thought for a micro-second that some vehicle near me had made the noise until I was riding on rim ... tracks not bad in gravel actually!  Oh well, I can make a lot more tire patches for my repair kits .

Waverley?! ... it's bad enough that we need way more bike lanes/connected paths, but there is no proper excuse for the lack of paved shoulders in this province and city!  It's all about safety and not just for us bikers ... vehicles as well!!
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