Take two. Took a day off of work, defying the rain gods, with the goal of trying the Aurora spur > alternate north along the Fox River, west to Wheaton along the main leg and back along the Batavia spur.
Carbo-loaded at the excellent Pancake Cafe at 75th St. and Naper-Plainfield: wheat toast, hash browns ("lightly onioned") and wonderfully thick bacon. Hit the Prairie Path at the Winfield Road parking lot just north of I-88 at 7:30 a.m. Weather cool and cloudy, perfect.
At the split, took the Aurora spur for the first time. Impression: not as pretty as the Batavia spur; the path parallels high-tension lines and there are a lot of power switchyards along the way. Interesting, I suppose, if you're an EE grad.
Puttering along about six miles into my ride, the now-familiar pshhh shsssh shsssh shsssh shsssh shsssh, godddamnit. The puncture was right at last week's glass gash, opposite the valve stem.
I had all the tools I needed to patch the leak - I love that CO2 cartridge repair kit! - and got back to the car OK. I had Bicycles Etc. replace the tubes and tires, front and back. Expensive at $194 with an extra tube and two extra C02 bottles, but I need to trust my wheels.
When I had the flat a week ago (see last week's blog entry), I'd wondered aloud in the shop if the tire sidewall had been compromised, and the folks at Bicycles Etc. either hadn't understood my concern or figured I didn't know what I was talking about. Apparently my concerns were justified. Do I blame them for not insisting/recommending a new tire, or were they being conscientious in not selling me a $46 tire based on a run-of-the-mill flat? I give them the benefit of the doubt, mainly because they adjusted both front and back brakes for free while they replaced the tires and tubes. The bike will stop on a freakin' nanoparticle now.
Gonna try again tomorrow with my friend Richard. This time, definitely!