Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I went down to my bike shop where I brought my bike to to the nice man I purchased my bike from to learn again how to put air into my tires with the fancy English version of a valve. It's a little tricky, and if you don't follow it step by step, your valve attachment will not clip on to the nozzle of the bike tire.

After that, I took my bike to the hike/bike trail. It's an eight degree ascent. It's pretty hard for me. I've always had trouble with hills hiking and biking even with my new lightweight carbon bike with 27 speeds.

As I turned around on the bike path, to go back to the parking lot where my van was, I went over maybe a few feet of dirt. It looked clean and it was the color of sand. As I made my way on to the paved bike path, I heard several thumping noises and thought maybe some stones got caught in my tire tread. So I stoped and saw some little stickers. There were about ten in each tire sticking up, so I removed them. Bad idea. As soon as I removed some of them, air started gushing out of my tires. I could actually see the holes in my tires. I got down to my car OK, but was really upset that now I have a flat tire. I really believed, as I was turning around, that there was anything there that could affect my tires. The ground looked clean without anything that may give me a flat.

I immediately went back to my bike store and told the guy there that sold me the bike and gave me the lesson on how to use the pump again, that I got a flat. He told me there is a certain type of plant that will get you're tires easily if you don't have a stronger tire. The tires on my very expensive bike are very good tires, built to be light but strong, but not that strong as some tires that are $40 each and would think nothing of these strong little stickers that get people who don't know what plant to look for. He says it only grows at certain elevations. We happen to be in that elevation. He had on display on the counter in the store in a small plastic box these stickers. His workers found I had two flat tires with another eight to ten stickers in the front tire. He was going to charge me for the tubes and installation, but he said he'd give me the learning curve discount and not charge me for installation of the two new tubes.

Today I walked up the hike/bike path I took yesterday to see just what this plant looked like so I'd know next time. I hiked up to where I turned my bike around yesterday, bent over, and low and behold, these stickers came from a spreading plant which had fern-like, small leaves and small, yellow flowers before they dry up and these small stickers form, drop off and also get stuck in dog walker's dog's foot pads and between their toes.

As I was bending really low to the ground to find these little stickers and the plant they came from, an elderly couple walking their large red dog saw me bending over and as I stood up, she said, "Are you alright?" I smiled and said yes and thought they deserved an explanation of my bending over so low, so I could find these plants and stickers. She had her dog on a leash and told her not to come so close with her dog, especially around these plants. Some had dried stickers on them and some still had flowers and some had a combination of both. The old man looked really close at them and realized these plants can be dangerous and said he'd remember this. So we both learned a good lesson.

The man at the bike store knows the native name for these plants. If I had my camera with me, I would have taken a photo of them and shown you.

As I continued walking down to my car on the paved bake path, I noticed there were things on the bottom of my walking shoes, thinking they were small stones stuck in the ridges of my soles of my shoes. When I got to my car and I looked under the soles of my shoes, low and behold, there they were again, those little devils. I pulled them out. I continued home shaking my head knowing not to venture off the paved bike path, although I did see some of the stickers on the bike path right near where the plants were.

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