Finally . . . The d-day cometh . . . The 2nd International Lagos Marathon, one that had taken me several weeks of preparation . . . I’d also been able to convince fellow unregistered cyclists as myself to join me in this experience I was so much looking forward to.
I had woken up about 3.30 am but finally got up at around 5.20 am to wash and dress up . . . My first phone call was to Tunde. He didn’t pick but called me back almost immediately . . . He was getting ready too . . . I called Taofeek but no response then followed up on Akomz . . . He went to bed late and was unlikely to partake he informed.
Kenny also didn’t pick as well as Segun . . . Kenny showed up eventually.
While waiting for Taofeek (It was to be his first ever group ride on a Lagos road) . . . I had decided to warm up a little in my hood . . . At top speed I went up and down the next street and the most unexpected happened . . . A blow up . . . My rear tyre exploded like a cannister . . . I got down and pushed the bike in the direction of my house while also putting a call to Tunde . . . The time then being 6.30 am . . . Not much he could do anyway . . . Made unsuccessful calls to my vulcaniser too . . . Called Taofeek again to see if he had a grasp of the task ahead of me . . . No dice but he showed up a little later . . . We struggled but eventually removed the tube, patched and re fixed it to the rim, as we pumped we realised it was still leaking . . . The other guys called again . . . About the fifth time . . . They were already waiting and suggested I ferried my bike down with my car . . . In a jiffy, I latched it to the back of the car and drove towards our take off point . . . All exit leading to the expressway we found out were blocked cos of the marathon . . . Panic set in.
I called Kenny to pedal down with Tunde’s spare tube . . . Like a flash he turned up . . . Taofeek had disappeared by now and we struggled on end and unsuccessfully so I had to tell Kenny to go with the guys. It was going to 8.00 am . . . Still bent on turning up . . . I strolled to the next street to get a vulcaniser . . . He quickly fitted the tube and I pumped . . . It was still flat.
I was disappointed but urged him to remove and look for the leaking point . . . We had to go to his roadside shop for this . . . I locked up my car and dragged the bike along . . . He removed, patched and fixed the tube again . . . As I pumped it refused to rise still . . . No dice.
Vulcaniser had to for the third time remove the tube again . . . He saw another leak and the whole process took place yet again . . . Remove tube, patch, refix and pump . . . It was firm this time around . . . Before this, a friend who had gone jogging passed by, exhausted but still interested in a photo shoot, so as usual, I did my thingy . . . Chuckles.
My tube was okay by now anyway . . . I returned my pump to the car and wore my helmet . . . Excitedly, I pedalled towards the expressway . . . My own marathon was about to commence . . . Time was almost 9.00 am . . . To think I’d been on my feet all along too . . . As I happily gained momentum . . . I felt my rear tyre dragging and wobbly yet again . . . It was down . . . I cycled grudgingly to my own vulcaniser, his boy was around and I asked him to quickly fix my tyre . . . He mumbled some nonsense and instead of getting angry I just left him and walked down to bring my car, he’ll be needing my pump as theirs wasn’t the same size as my valve.
I came back and he fixed it yet again . . . His master now available . . . While they worked on the tyre, a neighbour called and I informed him of my predicament . . . ‘Ahhhhhhhh, forget that trip’ he begged . . . ‘Don’t do it again, just go back home’.
That option was unthinkable to me but by the time the tube was once again pumped and it yet again went down . . . In exasperation, I agreed . . . It was a lost battle.
I finally yielded to superstitious belief.
You can imagine me being disillusioned, disgusted, disappointed especially after inspiring not just cyclists but also runners to partake through a number of my social media posts.
The time . . . 9.30 am.
I got into my car and drove home . . . That was the much I could take.
I gave up !
@ O’Shine ORIGINAL
My vulcaniser fixed and sent the bike through his boy and then sent me this message:
‘Gud day, noting do ur tayar, na ur pump no gud, I don do am’