Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Historic flat tire

I got a flat today! D'oh! It was a goathead (of course!), and in a twist of cruel irony, I'm pretty sure I "acquired" it right behind the ACHD equipment yard. I've been noticing a prolific growth of goatheads along there (like pretty much every place right now), and today it looked as though somebody had been trying to deal with them, and in the process a few got scattered about on the bike path.

It's "historic," because it's only my second flat tire of the calendar year. And for years and years, I averaged 2 or 3 such flats a month, and have dealt with three in a day (!) a couple times. But since I discovered my new favorite tire, Vittoria Randonneurs, dealing with flats is pretty much a thing of the past.

Amazingly, there are a couple of "down sides" to not getting flats very often.

I pulled up to do repairs. And apparently, fixing flats is kinda like... uh... um... riding a bike! Once you learn, you never forget.

I quickly had the tube removed and the offending goathead removed, and the hole identified and the rubber "roughed up" with sandpaper. Then I went to apply some glue. From a never-opened tube. D'oh! The glue was dried up! I guess that's what happens after a couple years, even if you don't use any.

Not to worry! I pulled out my spare inner tube, which I also always carry. Put the compromised one around my neck and the spare inside the tire, and pumped it up, and started on my way. A mile or so up the road, I noticed it was getting low.

Fer cryin' out loud!

I took my place at the side of the path, and once again practiced my tube change-out skills. And I discovered - if a tube goes for many, many miles, folded up in an underseat bag... it tends to wear a hole wherever it's rubbing against something. And that was the case today.

Fortunately, I also had a couple peel-and-stick "emergency patches," and applied one, and limped on in to my destination. I'll fix the leaking spare tube, and maybe wrap it in an old sock or something to prevent it from getting rubbed raw. And I'll try to replenish my patching supplies.

On the bright side, I got a glimpse of the good side of humanity. Three or four people were passing by, and asked if I had everything under control. It's nice to witness compassion and empathy up close from time to time.

1 comment:

Clancy Anderson said...

I just got rid of a goat head bush at work....I know I should not of let it get that big!

I had a flat last week, but is came from the inside of the rim. Fixed it and it happened again. The rims are relatively new and not damaged. I replaced the thin rubber rim tape with fabric and no problems since.