Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Parked Flat

Last night, I'd packed the panniers and topped off the tires on Bluetiful in preparation for this morning's commute.

I was back in the bedroom, prepping for bed, and I heard a loud noise like a big bag of BB's being emptied onto the tile floor.

It freaked the cats out.

My son, my daughter-in-law, my wife and I started scouring the front room, looking for the source of the noise. Finally, I checked the tires on the bikes. The 20" front tire on Bluetiful should have had 100 psi in it, but it was really spongy; couldn't have had more than 20 psi. I bent the valve stem from side to side and could hear air escaping.

I've always had problems with this tube, I could never get the valve stem to seat properly in the hole in the rim. It was always canted slightly forward, as if the tube were thicker on one side and was causing the stem to lean. Evidently, leaning against the side of the rim hole like that caused a groove to be carved in the side of the stem and it finally gave way.

My son commented that he guessed I wouldn't be riding to work in the morning. At which point I whipped the spare tube out of the seat bag on Bluetiful and asked him "Why not?"

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