Friday, July 08, 2005

My first flat

I am now officially a bicyclist: I changed my first tire. I was very lucky that I noticed the flat while still at home and not in the middle of nowhere because it took me over an hour to change the tire, and that was with me going online to download owner's guides to figure out how to do it.

For starters, living in a condo means you can't just run out to the driveway to play mechanic. I had to rely on blankets in the living room to act as my garage.

It sounds simple to install an inner tube: wrap the tube around the wheel, stuff the tube in the tire, then slip the tire back on the rim. Doesn't work out that way. Turns out there is a definite art to working with rubber and I just wasn't getting the hang of it. The even bigger problem was trying to inflate the tire. My tires have "Presta Valves" on them, aka "French Valves". Stupid French. I'm calling them "Freedom Valves" from now on. It took me 20 minutes just to figure out that the valves actually have TWO caps on them. It seems that the inner cap needs to be loosened up before any air can get in. Good to know. I THINK I put the wheel back on properly and that the brakes will still work. We'll find out soon enough.

I don't think I'm quite ready to join a NASCAR pit crew.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great stuff! - Tim

4:12 PM  

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