1. Wait to glue your tubulars until the weekend before your cyclocross season begins. In your “training log,” this weekend will have been circled as the weekend you’re supposed to start training. In cyclocross, having a tubular equipped bike is more important than fitness. Training can wait until race day.
2. Go into the depths of your garage and dig out your stash of tires from previous seasons and impulse off-season closeout purchases. Select the once that have been the most properly aged.
3. Recoil in horror as you realize all your tubulars were stored improperly. Somehow you read the wrong article and foolishly stored them vertically and un-inflated (instead of horizontally and inflated) and forgot to suck all the sealant that has now congealed into Super Ball sized chunks inside your tires.
4. Come to accept the fact that you suddenly have a pile of useless rubber that costs as much as a semester of Junior College.
5. Spend the next three hours reading reviews and shopping for new tubulars.
6. Build a spreadsheet breaking down the cost of new tires vs having your old, yet mostly unused tires repaired.
7. Praise your favorite deity that Competitive Cyclist still has the same tubulars you bought on close-out last season. A mud tire for a place that hasn’t seen rain in years? Who cares when it’s only $49.99.
8. Box up all your bunk tubulars and send to Tire Alert with a desperate note to have them back by Thanksgiving (because no doubt you’ll have the will power to hit peak form during the most gluttonous week of the year and when you’re in peak form, there’s no way you can be using clinchers as your pit tires).
9. Go to your neighborhood Lowe’s and get an argument with an employee over the very existence of Acid Brushes. Even when you pull out your phone and show him the reason why you chose Lowe’s was because their site said there were dozens of fictional Acid Brushes in-stock, he holds his ground with a moon landing conspiracist level of tenacious stubbornness.
10. When you finally locate the Acid Brushes hours later just before fatal dehydration sets in, promptly buy all of them in hopes of dicking over your fellow cross racers because the race starts long before the gun goes off.
11. Call in sick to work so you can immediately begin the sacred ritual of applying the first layer of glue to your new tires the moment they arrive, for time is of the essence. Kick yourself for forgetting to not ship your tires to your office. On the upside, your sudden and temporary illness seems more believable.
12. The following evening after work, start the gluing process the moment you get home. Take extra care to cover the entire width of the base tape, your cat’s tail, and the most conspicuous areas of your dining room table.
12. Wake up in the middle of the night to apply the second layer of glue. The clock is ticking.
13. Now that you can’t go back to bed, watch the video of Stu Thorne showing how to glue a tubular as a refresher. Channel your rage at him for making it look so easy into a strongly worded letter to the UCI demanding all team staff to be checked for doping because no man can have hands that strong.
14. After spending the following day tired and cranky from lack of sleep, you’re now in the perfect mindset to glue your tubulars. Be sure you’re wearing your nicest, most expensive pair of jeans and a favorite shirt that is irreplaceable.
15. Time the conjoining of your first tire so that your wife comes home from work at the exact at the exact moment veins are popping from your head. Being asked how your day went will provide a nice distraction from a pending aneurysm.
16. Now that the first tire has been glued, take a quick break to search Groupon for marriage counseling deals.
17. Mount the second tire. With any luck, the glue will have fully set by the time your race starts the next morning. There is no better way to test the strength of a glue job than going in hot into turn one.