Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's Alive!

Appearance to the contrary, I’m not nuts.

I know the bicycle is an inanimate object. It can’t possibly have any emotions: no mental states, no wishes or preferences.

Still, it sure does seem like my bikes have desires and even weirder, that they occasionally express them, and weirder still, that they express them in devious ways of which even the most nutjob scorned lover on whom you’ve placed a restraining order could only imagine.

Like today, for instance, I’m riding the Saluki and its chain is feeling pretty gritty. All the snow and ice and sand it’s been carrying me through these last few weeks has taken its toll. With each turn of my cranks, I can detect the teeth on my chainrings and cogs being ground down ever so and I know the chain itself is probably suffering something akin to the sensation you have when you’ve got a sharp stone in your shoe that’s stuck there. I realize I ought to put it up on the stand when I get home and do a little preventive maintenance, but I’m just not in the mood, tired from a long day at school and figuring, too bad, the bike can take few more days like this if it has to.

But surprise: as I pedal up the final block towards home, my rear tire goes flat, meaning I’ve got to take the bike down in the basement anyways to fix it, so I may as well deal with the chain and give the rig a going over while I’m at it.

Funny thing, too: no matter how many times I go over the tire with my fingers, I can’t find what punctured it.

My conclusion? Saluki flatted itself in order to get some TLC.

It’s like how when you ride a bike every day, the tires don’t lose air, but if you let it sit, they do. That’s because your bike sighs when you don’t ride it.


Blogger Eric Thrasher Troili.. said...

When your bike sits, the air mixture's small molecules (nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, and smaller amounts of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, helium, neon, krypton, xenon, and others)seep through the porous rubber of the tubes..

Fill your tires with pure nitrogen.. The larger nitrogen molecules do not seep through as quickly.. Access to a pure nitrogen source may present a problem however..

That would take the some of the fun out of maintaining your bikes though..

4:55 PM  

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