Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I must be losing my touch

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised to come home tonight to find Ollie with a flat rear tire. It's been awhile. (If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you are no doubt familiar with my propensity for relating each flat tire incident in excruciating detail, and you will concede that I have not thrown Ollie wheels up in some time.)

After I hit some miscellaneous piece of road shrapnel in the bike lane three days ago, I'd been noticing a drop in rear tire pressure following every couple of rides around town. So the next day, Sunday, I took out the damaged tube and did the usual tire and tube check. For the life of me, I couldn't find the hole. I inflated the tube...no detectable leak. I deflated it and *really* inflated it a second time. Again, nada. It wasn't a faulty stem -- I'd know, I've had those, too -- and I couldn't see or hear an air leak anywhere. So what was I supposed to do, toss an inexplicably leaky tube? No. (This is as much due to stubbornness as frugality or eco-friendliness, mind you.) Maybe it was all in my head. I decided I would reinflate it and just keep an eye on things, so I put that same tube back in... which was more challenging than usual since I seem, owing to recent disuse, to have misplaced my single remaining tire iron. Flat-head screwdrivers aren't as apt a substitute as you might think.

Everything seemed fine -- with the noticeable exception of my gut, which kept telling me the ghost leak would manifest itself again. Sure enough, I came home from my inaugural Master Gardening class tonight to find Ollie markedly deflated. Gah! Alright, that's it: I pulled out the tube (now a third time), inflated it, and... Oh, heck, no luck. I finally caved and did the tried and true water test in my bathroom sink. Aha! There it was, clear as day! How did I not see or hear that giant, fingernail-shaped gash in the tube before it was submerged?? Guess I'm losing my touch.

Let the record show that once the hole was found, I checked the tire for lingering pointy things (there were none) and installed a new tube in under 10 minutes. Yes, sans tire iron. Maybe I'm not losing my touch after all....though I do plan to pick up a couple of tire irons and some of that super degreaser for my hands next time I'm near a bike shop.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just tickled that you and Ollie are still best buds, cruising the streets of DC in January. Fantastic. Can't wait to try the pumpkin soup - I have a ton of pumpkin puree frozen in the freezer just waiting for the soup pot this weekend! Kent and I were just reminiscing about our summer DC trip and whenever we talk DC he always says "I wonder how Ibti is doing..." I remind him you have a blog, but he doesn't read it (or even mine for that matter, don't feel bad), so I give him the updates. ;)


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