Sunday, January 10, 2010

Puncture Wound

Everyone knows that pride goeth before the flat.

In fact, the most reliable way to ensure you’ll get a puncture in your bike tire is to go on about how you never get flats; usually, all you have to do is mention to someone that it’s been a while since you had to change or patch a tube and before you know it, there you’ll be, feeling that familiar mushy feeling beneath you as the air escapes from your pneumatic friend and you’ve got to pull over and fix it if you want to resume pedaling any time soon.

So, I was a bit surprised this morning when I went to take the Saluki out of the shed for my usual Sunday morning cycling and shopping expedition and found my rear tire to be completely deflated; after all, I’d totally refrained from saying—or even thinking—anything about how fortunate I’d been so far this winter to have yet experienced any punctures, even though they tend to happen more often when the weather is wet and little sharp things are more apt to stick to rubber.

But I was glad that the air had escaped on my home turf, since it makes for an easier repair; I took the bike down to the basement and replaced the tube easily, while patching the flat one, no problem.

I then set out on another errand, only to have the tire go flat again about two miles away. Fortunately, I was close to a bike shop, so I didn’t have to use my lame frame pump to re-inflate once I’d changed tubes. But in no further than two blocks was my tire flat again, but at least this time, while changing tubes I finally located the tiny piece of glass that was causing the problem.

But my last “good” tube had a slow leak, so back at home, it was one more change.

See, I get flats ALL the time!


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