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After some time, I returned to the Withlacoochee Trail to begin cycling again with friends.
Last year I lost my husband; anyone who has experienced such a painful loss knows that it can be a struggle to find the way back to a new normal. After some time, I returned to the Withlacoochee Trail to begin cycling again with friends. One day it was too hard to keep up after being a caregiver for so many months, so I turned back to pedal to my car.
Now everyone knows what comes next in this story. I got a flat. Not just a flat tire, but a flat back tire. You know that greasy chain and mysterious rear derailleur? I entered official status as a senior citizen not that many years ago without ever having to deal with changing a rear tire. I carry a spare tire, extra tubes, and all the proper tools, but I always just carried them.
First, I looked up and down the Trail for a kindly soul who might change my tire for me. Amazingly, an ordained minister stopped for me and knew how to change a tire on a long wheelbase recumbent bike (more about bike types in another story snippet). He also flagged down another man and asked him to accompany me back to Inverness. Surely my beloved, late husband had a hand in this.
Second, I made an appointment at one of the great bike shops on and near the Withlacoochee Trail. I worked with the mechanic to get the chain off and on the rear derailleur a few times to gain some confidence I could do it on my own.
However, with the next inevitable flat tire, I will still look for a kindly soul on the friendliest trail!