Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Flat Again

It's a well known mythical fact that flat tires on a bicycle comes in streaks. I'm not sure what got me this time, but it was not as sudden as the nail incident. It started as a "tick tick tick" noise with the rotation of the tires, accompanied by a slight hiss. Knowing those sounds all too well from many years of cycling, I gunned it. Being only halfway home and not wanting to fix a flat on the road before hitting the hay, gunning it was the best option. Someone up there likes me at least a little because the one traffic signal that could have held me up long enough for the tire to go completely flat was green. Even so, I didn't make it all of the way home.

What to do a half of a mile from home? I had someone time me on fixing a flat while mountain biking once and took less than two minutes to pull the wheel, extract the tube, check the inside of the tire case, throw another tube in, inflate the tire (with a Co2 inflator), pop the wheel back on and stow my gear. I don't race, but have changed a lot of flats. That said, my commuter bike has neither the luxury of quick releases, nor the light weight of most of my other bikes. Fixing the flat would have taken longer than pushing the bike home, so I pushed.

After waking up in the afternoon, it was time to fix the flat. I still couldn't tell what had gotten me this time. An educated guess would have been glass though because whatever had stuck in the tire and ticked did not sound metallic. So, it took me five minutes to fix a flat on the commuter bike and then it was off to the grocery store and survive yet another afternoon on the goofy streets of Orange County.



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