Friday, February 14, 2014

Tumbling Tireweeds

Well, two days without a post may have just tied a record for this blog. I wonder if the heart grew fonder (notice how I worked that Valentine's Day reference in there) for the absence. In other words, did you miss me? No need to answer that question.

I was out walking the Deer Creek Channel behind work at lunch the other day. It is something I always try to work into that mid-day hour. Sitting inside for most of a day, my legs will get the heebie jeebies otherwise. The more years that pass, the less I like to be inside.

I noticed something strange and out-of-place just up ahead. Resting up against the channel fence was the unmistakable, narrow profile of a road bike tire. It looked nearly as lost as a wayward tumbleweed resting against the self-same fence, just a few feet further along.


"This is damn curious" I thought; even if it has a big gash in the sidewall, who rips a tire off the rim, and leaves it beside their path? Once you do that, are you not limited to making your way home on just a bare rim? Sure you could switched to an undamaged tire, but who carries an extra clincher that they could just swap one for another?

I tried to satisfy this curiosity by rolling it one revolution along the fence, get a full view  around its circumference.  Then I leaned it towards me so I could see the hidden side. A Bontrager T2, lower end of the Bontrager line-up. Crown worn a little flat due to normal road wear, some spider webs on the sheltered inside, a little sand at the bottom, but no major flaw that I could notice. Not as pliant as it would once have been. Ceaseless hours in the sun will do that to a tire.

Perhaps they blew in together, that tire and that tumbleweed, entangled by some strange twist of nature. They came to rest at this spot against the fence. This still does not explain how the circular hoop of rubber came to be separated from rim. They work so well together, those two. Perfectly matched. It is hard to imagine what could have driven them apart - the one left bereft and forsaken, the other moving on to who knows where. Or how.

Ultimately, nature dealt them a cruel blow, forcing them apart. - the tire and the tumbleweed, I mean. Fifty feet might as well be fifty miles in their case. That union was just never meant to be anyway. A brief meeting, nothing more. Incompatible. 

You never can tell, though. The prevailing wind will usually come from the northeast, which means they could become an item once again. It might be good. In the short term at least. Out here along the wash is an unlikely, and unfriendly, place to be abandoned. Alone without a purpose, other than to catch the eye of lunch hour walkers.

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