Zooom! Thud! Psssssst.

I dropped off my car this morning for my annual let-me-open-a-vein-so-I-can-keep-driving maintenance and rode in to work. The mechanics called me in the afternoon to let me know they’d already gotten the repairs done, so I left work at about six to run home, grab my checkbook, and return to the garage.

I was riding down Wurzbach Parkway at about 6:25, taking advantage of a downhill section and a favorable wind to get up to about 35 mph when my rear tire hit something very solid. A few seconds later, I felt the uncomfortably familiar grish-grish-grish feeling that indicates you’re riding on a flat. Did I mention I was doing 35?

Using my Jedi-like mastery of the bike, I managed to stop without destroying my rim, my tire, my bike or my face and set about changing the flat. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a spare tube, but I did have plenty of patches. I located the punctures and patched them up, put enough air in the tube to re-seat it, and crimped the tire back onto the rim. Then I inflated the tube all the way.

Funny thing about the valves on high-pressure tubes like the ones I use; they’ve got a removable core. I have no idea why this is a good thing, but I can give you one good reason why it’s a bad thing. When I unlocked the pump from the valve, the core shot out with 100 psi behind it and I found myself holding a patched yet still flat wheel. I never even saw where the core went. And I didn’t have a replacement core for the damn valve.

When I finished walking the remaining two miles to get home, it was too late to switch bikes and get back to the garage. I’ll get the car tomorrow morning. And tonight I’m putting a spare tube in my patch kit, just in case I have any more bike gremlins in my future.

Damn bike gremlins.

No Responses to “Zooom! Thud! Psssssst.”

  1. Daphne Says:

    Ah, you are not the only one, tiny locust. :) Last week on my way home in my car I felt a big thud and thought I ran over something. The car felt a little uneasy on the highway but I figured it was windy. I pulled into my driveway and, lo and behold, I had driven on a flat for a good 10 miles. I’m lucky it didn’t blow out and send me spinning across three lanes of traffic!

    Glad to hear that nothing was hurt. Tell those damn bike gremlins to eat dirt!

    And I’m just kidding about the tiny locust thing. 😉