Monday, July 20, 2009

Hell On Earth

Satan is winning.

Of course, you knew that. How else could this have happened?

Another sign of prevailing evil is the existence of these little guys:

They’re called goatheads or puncture vine by most people, but when I look at them I see something more sinister. Could it be . . . Satan?

They grow on an innocent-looking weed like this one:

And turn into hateful little demons who deflower your virgin tubes:

Now isn't that special?

Created in his own image, these dedicated devil minions descend (ascend?) upon us every summer, and cyclists employ a number of different defenses in a vain attempt to deal with them. I have tried Kevlar-belted tires, plastic tire liners and inner tubes filled with sealant. Nothing can totally stop them.

They can't be stopped.

By mid-summer, flat tires become routine. And by the looks of things, this summer will be the worst in recent memory. Our weird spring, with repeated heating-cooling-raining trends, has left the weed population very green well into July.

Here's a recent picture of a road near my house:

The darker green you see going all the way up the road is puncture vine. Each plant produces hundreds of thorns. In a few weeks this road will become completely impassable.

Say a prayer to la Madonna del Ghisallo for me. It's going to be a long summer.



  1. What bike are we looking at here?

  2. That, sir, is a stolen photo. There is no internally geared hub in my near future.

    Besides, if I were to pick up that many thorns I would probably shoot myself.

  3. No wonder! I didn't think that looked quite right...