Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Slice-ycle, continued

Alternate Title: Flattery (Ahem) Will Get You Nowhere

I had rolled my bike with more difficulty than usual across the grassy field. "You're just tired," I told myself to dismiss the added effort. When I started to pedal homeward an hour later, I realized that the rear tire was -- and had been -- completely flat. Thankfully, a public bus provided adequate back-up transportation.

Having secured requisite repair items a few days later, I set about changing the flat. I located the culprit: a large screw buried up to its head, which I extricated from both tire and tube. I scrunched a new tube home, seated the tire, and pumped in air. I reveled in being back in pedaling business until the next morning when I tested the tire with a squeeze that revealed disappointing softness. I wallowed in a few moments of frustration, and then I repeated the changeover process with a fresh tube. This time, I tried to be more thorough by feeling around the inside of the tube for further vexations. I found one I had not detected previously, when the screw had seemed like the low-hanging (and only) fruit. My finger now felt something poking out, thorn-like, from the inside of the tire. With pliers, I tweezed out what appeared to be a tiny metal hair and finished the fix. The tire seemed reassuringly firm the next morning, so I rode. A quarter mile from my destination, however, the back-end of the bike clanked, followed by the uncomfortable grind of wheel rim on pavement. Another flat.

For the third and proverbially charmed time, I took the bike to a professional, explaining my saga so far. The mechanic set me up with a thicker thorn-proof tube and proclaimed both rim and tire free of any threats. So far, so good -- if only because I now carry a spare tube, pump, and tire irons with me on each commute.

Some morals of the story: Pay attention because the obvious problem may not be the only problem, and, should problems persist, consider inviting in outside eyes. Bringing in a professional, though, doesn't absolve us of responsibility to control what we can control.


  1. An entertaining post with a moral to the story! This was an enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. You had me at ".. just tired."! High & low pressure biking! And that caps it off... pun intended. !no ediR

  3. My dad would say "everything's busted". Just when you think you're on the mend something breaks again. I can feel your frustration! Thanks for sharing.

  4. May the thorns and nails and sharp objects of the world move away when you rolls by.

  5. Glad to see your thorny problem has been resolved. Let's hope the universe is daunted by your new thorn-proof tire.

    1. I'd settle for a daunted roadway, let alone the universe ;)

  6. Brian, as we tranverse the road of life, we need accoutrements and wisdom beyond ours at times. I would love for you to create a biking digital with wisdom for my Abundant Autumn Gallery. Travel on, Brian!