Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for July, 2011

Panaracer Pasela sidewall failure

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

On my way home from work yesterday, I noticed that my front tire seemed to be spinning a little funny. It seemed like it had a lump. A closer look revealed that there was a bulge in the sidewall. I just kept riding and made it home without incident.

The tire is a 700×35 Panaracer Pasela Tourguard.  The tread still has plenty of life left in it, so it’s rather disappointing that I can’t use it anymore. On the other hand, these tires are known to have rather weak sidewalls, so in that sense, I can’t say I’m surprised.

According to my records, I put this tire on the bike in December of 2009, and it has lasted 4361 miles (all as a front tire).  Those miles were on all kinds of terrain: pavement, gravel, trails, debris-strewn urban streets and harsh country roads. These are relatively inexpensive tires, so I feel pretty good about this. I don’t have exact records, but I think I got, at most, one or two flat tires that entire time.

I had an extra tire in the garage, of exactly the same model. I replaced the old one. We’ll see how long this one lasts …


Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

It’s been a little warm.  Until the last week or so, it has seemed like the really hot weather took its time getting to us, but now it’s definitely here.

This image is from yesterday afternoon. Then, this morning on my way to work it was already hot, not as high in terms of ambient temperature, but just incredibly muggy.

As I’ve alluded to in a few recent posts, I’ve been taking a different route to work. It’s a little shorter and significantly flatter, but with the heat and humidity like this, I’m still very sweaty by the time I get to work. Kind of annoying, but I can deal with it.

The new route is very pleasant; it starts with a bit of a climb, but then there’s a long downhill. There’s a stoplight halfway down, but if my timing is right, I can fly all the way down the hill without stopping.

Then I turn onto a rail-trail, which I take most of the way to work. Part is paved, and part isn’t. There’s a lot of variety, in terms of scenery, even though the trail is flat and mostly straight. I travel through woods, by a creek, through open fields with grasses and wildflowers, industrial zones, and part of downtown.

I don’t take the same route home. The nice long downhill that I start with in the morning, turns into a traffic-laden climb on my way home. Really, the traffic is the worry, not the climb.

Plus, I like to take a hillier route home, so I get more of a workout out of it.

Overall, it’s good to have options. I’ve been fairly critical of Bloomington’s rail-trail and B Line trail, and a lot of those feelings haven’t changed, but now they’re finally turning into something useful. Right now, there’s a long section that I have practically to myself, as it’s not officially open yet, but I wonder how busy it will be once more people discover it.

Commute impressions: wildflowers

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Wildflowers flank trail
An unknown beauty pops up
Heat makes me move on

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