Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Sixth Time Is the ... Something.

This has been the summer of tire problems for my bike.

It started in the spring, actually, when the back tire went flat. I took it to the shop to get it fixed, only to have the tire go flat again two days later. I brought it back to the shop, where Rick pulled a tiny fragment of glass from the outer tire out as the culprit and replaced it for free, given the timing. He also sold me a set of inserts to protect the tire from going flat. Rick assured me there was no need to replace the tire, just the inner tube. Inwardly, I resolved that if I got another flat that summer I'd find out how to change my own bloody tire, because getting it to the bike shop when I don't own a car was way too annoying.

A couple of months later, I ran over a car key lying on the side of the road. My front tire kicked it into the chain, where it whipped around several times and ripped a few holes in the back tire's inner tube. The tire deflated instantly. I had no money on me. I started walking the bike home, and got less than a block when a kindly woman who lived in the neighborhood offered me and my bike a ride home. <3 Lut went to Wal-Mart a few days later and picked up a "self-repairing" bike inner tube, which contained the same kind of goop that fix-a-flat uses to patch holes in car tires, and a normal patch kit that came with the tire-tools one needs to get a bike tire off the wheel. I watched a couple of Youtube videos on changing bike tires, and replaced my dead tire with the self-repairing one. I rode around on it for 30 minutes and it seemed fine.

An hour later, the self-repairing tire had completely deflated.


I pulled it out again: it had several holes in the same section (not the same area that my last tire had been destroyed in.

I patched up the first flat tire with the patch kit, and put it in.

On my next trip to Wal-Mart, I bought a manual bike pump, exchanged the self-repairing tire for another one, and a regular inner tube. I made a point of bringing the pump, patch kit, and one of the spare tubes with me when I went biking from then on. (I didn't keep it on the bike because I didn't think the temperature changes in the garage would be good for the uninflated tube.)

On August 19, I ran over another key. I remember the date because I tweeted about it:

Rear Bike Tire: "Broken key! My archnemesis! We meet again!"
Broken Key: *impale*
Tire: "...and you ... win ... again." *dies*

It went vertically into the tire. Like a knife stabbing at its heart.

Do not misplace your keys. Those things are KILLERS.

But I had my tire repair kit with me! I walked the bike into the shade of a gas station, took off the tire, replaced the tube, re-inflated, and biked home feeling like a CHAMPION. I had the knowledge, the tools, and the parts, and used them all successfully! \o/

Which brings me to today, when I heard the loud bang of my rear tire blowing out as I was on my way home from the library.

This was not a puncture or even an innertube shredding. It was the tire itself tearing along a three-inch section where the tire meets the wheel. I carry a spare inner tube. It is not really feasible to carry an entire spare tire on a bike.

(Lut: "What are you going to do? Carry a spare bike on your bike?"
Me: "Maybe I could get one of those collapsible bikes ... ")

The moral of the story: You are never prepared ENOUGH. I walked the bike the three miles to home. At least it didn't happen on Sunday when I was eleven miles from home.

Which reminds me: I should make that car reservation for this weekend. At least I was planning to rent a car this weekend anyway.
Tags: biking, exercise, you are not prepared

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