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.


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.


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. :)