I've never liked Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago. Sure, it's a decent street for bicycling compared to the nearby alternatives (Peterson, Foster), but I just can't trust a name with so few vowels. Today I was riding home from the North Branch Trail (actually, I barely rode the trail itself -- the midday heat took a lot out of me by the time I got there, so I just rode a couple miles and came home) on Bryn Mawr, following the signed "North Branch to Lakefront" route. Suddenly, pshhhhh, pshhhhh, pshhhhh, pshhhhh, pshhhh... Darn it, a flat tire! (That really cool but discouraging sound was air leaking from my tire directly into my rear fender as the tire rotated.)
Admittedly, I haven't ridden much in the past two years (less than 1000 miles/year), but the last time I had a flat was April 2005 (I flatted on the Vadalabene River Road Bikeway when I was working on Biking Illinois, but I was able to nurse it the last three miles to the parking lot). The last time I had to fix a flat "on the road" was probably sometime in 2003. Of course, the bad thing about rarely flatting is that one's flat-fixing skills go down the tubes (pun intended). I think it took me about 15 minutes to change the tube, which is half as long as it did one memorably awful time, but still embarrassingly slow. I mean, this guy could probably do it faster in his sleep. Then again, there was no real sense of urgency so why rush?
By the way, I didn't find anything in the tire, but I saw many shards of glass glistening in the sunlight on the road behind me. If you're riding east on Bryn Mawr from the dead-end (where there is a bike trail across the old railroad tracks) toward Pulaski Road, beware!