09 September 2008

Dear Bikes,

I really enjoy riding you. I do not enjoy having you in the garage mocking me (that's you, Dew!) or taking me 7 miles OUT of town and then flatting (that's you, Dolce!) Honestly, you'd think that I never take care of you. You were both tuned up right before we moved, and this is the thanks I get.

Honestly, I have only flatted 1 time before this last week. Now I have flatted twice, in less than a week. A bent rim isn't fair when I didn't even do anything. Shape up, at least one of you.

Sincerely,

Kate
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Well, that makes no sense to most of you. What has happened is two fold. The boys are finally in school, we've done our moving, and here I am, able to run errands by bicycle and start training again. Perfect, right?

No. Apparently, the moving company (those *******, ala Stephanie Plum), decided not to just gouge our brand new dining room table and a few other things, also damaged BOTH of my bikes. (We moved 6 bicycles, so how come only MINE were damaged?) The Dew, my commuter and goofing off bike, has a bent rim on the front. It literally stops when I try to roll the bike. I'll probably need a new wheel. The Dolce had something happen to the rear tire. Last week, I tried to ride it on a ride out here. (There are a bunch of listed and mapped out rides. I'm not just making them up any more.) I checked both wheels, added air to the front, and off I went.

About 3 and a half miles later, complete flat on the rear wheel. Looking at the wheel, I determined that the stem was bent, but you could only see it from close up. I walked home, pushing the bike. I blistered my foot and had a backache, because cleats aren't made for walking. This weekend, The Collar replaced my tube. It was holding air quite nicely. I checked pressure in both wheels. The front had a problem (it popped the bead), so I fixed it by letting out all of the air, reseated the bead, and filled the tire. Then the chain popped off. I fixed that. So off I went on my merry way.

On my route, I missed a spot where the road I was supposed to be on turned into something else. That wasn't really a problem, but it did mean I rode my bike to Oregon. That was kind of cool. 2 miles later, flat. Of course, I thought at first I was out of shape. It's hard to go fast when you have a flat. Back on to the story, I was 7 miles from home (could have been worse, I guess), with yet another flat. This time the Collar came and got me. I only walked back about a mile.

It could be I ran over something, or there could be something wrong with the wheel. I'm trying to decide if I should go out again (with another new tube) or if I should go get it checked out.

So, I have now been stranded twice, for a total of 10 miles from home. Thank goodness for cell phones.

Maybe someday I'll be able to finish the loop.

4 comments:

boo said...

Do you need a bag for under your seat to hold a spare tube, tire levers and a CO2 inflator? If not CO2, then a pump to fit on the frame? They make pumps that fit on with the botlecage screws.

I have an extra bag if you need it.

Mine has $20 in case I need to flag someone down as well

Kate said...

Yes, I was pretty foolish for going out with out my tool bag. I just wanted to ride so much that I thought I'd risk it. I'm not doing that again. :)

I found my tool bag and my extra tubes and the CO2 cartriges, so now that's all been fixed. (Movers put it in a box labeled camping.) Whew! I went out for another ride with the Collar, and had another flat. We put in a new tube, used the CO2 cartridge and then I finally realized that I needed new tires. Face/palm. Now that's been taken care of, too. I've also replaced the rim on my Dew, so now I can run errands on it. I even rode it to Game Boy's school to drop off something he'd forgotten. Yeah for working bikes!

Other equipment I carry is my id and debit card, and the cell phone. I've wrecked before, and sometimes you just can't ride back home.

boo said...

The $20 is to pay a cab if the other half can't get me OR to wave at cars to get them to stop if I need help more urgently!

Glad to hear you found it. Repeated flats are a good indicator that new tires are needed.

Kate said...

Ah, yes. That's why I carry the debit card. I can always get cash if I need it that way.

So far, it's been okay though. Luckily I live some where now where every time I've flatted someone has stopped and asked if I've needed help. It's a nice change. :)