So much for a good ride. I started out on the north side of Hastings and didn’t even make it to downtown before the rear tire went flat again. I was at the end of my rope and couldn’t figure out what was causing so many flats in such a short time. It is possible that my rear tire failed and the downward pressure while riding may be popping the tube.


It did give me a chance to explore a bit of downtown. Turns out, Kool-Aid was created here in Hastings. The inventor, Edward Perkins, lived in a small town nearby and created a smoking cessation aid in the early 20th century which he sold by mail order. Apparently, even back then people were anxious to find help quiting smoking. The product was so popular, that he moved production to Hastings for better railroad connection. While in Hastings, he created a concentrated liquid called Fruit Smack. The liquid was expensive to ship and he had trouble with broken bottles. So, he figured out how to reduce the liquid down to a powder and changed the name. I think I like the original name better; it certainly sounds more modern. A smoking cessation aid, a product called Fruit Smack . . . Perkins seemed to be about a century ahead of his time.

Kool-Aid was invented in this building.

Walking back to my room after dinner, I flagged down a guy out for an evening ride on a bike trail to ask if there is a bike shop in town. Surely Hastings is large enough to support a bicycle shop. Unfortunately, he told me the closest one is in Grand Island. He had a friend who used to do bicycle repairs on the side, but no longer does. He called his friend for me and I explained what was going on and my suspicion that my tire may have failed. He thinks that if my tire failed, there would be something noticeable. There isn’t, so the tire is probably still good. He told me about a particular problem in this part of Nebraska, tiny rocks along the highways with sharp edges that work their way into the tires. They can be difficult to find once they are in the tire because they may not stick out when the tire pressure is low. That makes sense. While fixing the first flat yesterday, I did pull out a small stone like he described. I thought that was the only one because I didn’t see or feel anything when fixing the other flats. He gave me a few pointers to figure out if another stone is causing problems. It may take a few days, but hopefully I can figure out what is causing all the flats and get things back on track.

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