Monday, October 15, 2007

Flat Fixing

I find the act of fixing a flat on my bike pretty satisfying; it’s a mark of how abstract and confusing my life is that the simple task of removing an inner tube, patching it, then replacing it back inside a bike tire and pumping the thing back up gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. Few things I do present themselves so clearly as a problem to be solved and even fewer have such a straightforward solution.

Now, this doesn’t mean I always enjoy fixing a flat; it’s not so much fun when I’m pulling off my tire in the pouring rain by the side of a busy street, but by and large, most of the time, the warm feeling of the job well done outweighs the “grrr” factor I experience upon that telltale feeling of my tire losing air.

When I came out to the shed this morning, I discovered that the rear tire on the Saluki was almost airless. Naturally, I said, “Shit!” but fortunately, all I had to do was grab a different bike to ride away.

Upon returning home tonight, I brought the Saluki down into the basement and repaired the tube at my leisure. The hole in it was pretty tiny; I probably could have pumped up the tire this morning and just let it slow leak all day long; still, it’s a luxury to repair a flat in the basement instead of on the shoulder, and I was happy to avail myself of that.

I always think of my dad whenever I fix a flat; I remember him showing me how to find the leak in the tube by pumping it up and submerging it in water to look for bubbles. I didn’t have to do that this time; the hole was big enough to see but small enough to fix with one small patch.

Of course, with all this talk of flats, I’m sure to get another one tomorrow.


Post a Comment

<< Home