Sunday, August 8, 2010


I'm sure this happens to other people also. I know it's my own fault, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! But that doesn't mean I have to like it. This is a continuing story, more or less picked up where we left off last week. But I must give a bit of history.
The tube on my time-trial bike was losing air, just a little at a time. These are Zipp wheels with extenders, thus you ride with the valve stems open. I figured it was the open valve stem, so rather than toss the tube, I put it in the Camelbak for a spare. This is the tube I used last week when I again had to change out and patch the tube with the wire in it. It worked well for the week, but last night when I was getting the bike ready for this morning's ride, the tire felt very low. No problem, I got out my Silca pump and aired it back up to 120 pounds.
Unfortunately, the valve grabbed the pump and wouldn't let go. The force required to extract the pump from the valve was the same amount it took to release the valve stem from the tube. Dang! This is why I air my tires the night before. Tube changing without time pressure. I secured the previous tube, now patched, and in record time had it switched out, aired up, on the bike and ready to go.
At 4:45am I dragged out of bed and downstairs to take my thyroid medication (necessary 1 hour prior to eating). Most of the time I tumble back to bed or in the recliner, but this morning I wandered out to the garage and checked the tire. Flat! That patch really didn't look right, but seemed to be holding last night. Ok, pull the bike out of the car, pull the rear wheel, pull another tube from the hook. This tube is at least a year, maybe two, old and also has a patch. But I had used it with the patch and knew it held.
Again, the tube switching went well, and I aired the tire. Around 80 pounds I heard a hissing sound and knew there were no snakes in the house. Pook, ding foo! (familiar expletive to fans of Thoroughly Modern Millie) Defective valve. It's not like I don't have new tubes. One is residing in my saddle pack, and I got it out and made another easy tube change (are you keeping track of the tubes?). Easily aired, back on the bike, back in the car.
Ah, now I have no spares in the saddle pack. Last year I purchased the correct size tube, but it is so thick it looks like a monster compared to the others. I keep it in the car in case one of my friends has a need. Reluctantly, but of necessity, this was transferred to the saddle pack.
The rest of the morning went well, the ride went well. The bike shop supplied two additional tubes. One went into the saddle pack, the other in a drawer in the garage. The thick one returned to the car for emergencies.

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