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Friday, July 23, 2010

Tire Pump FAIL

I hadn't ridden my bike since I before leaving for Little Cayman, so Wednesday, I thought I'd take it out.  I headed to the trail after work Wednesday evening.

Problem one: the brake was stuck and I couldn't get the brake attached when I put the front wheel back on after getting it out of my car.  Arg, it was frustrating, but I figured out what happened (it was caught on something) and re-attached.  Problem solved!

Problem two:  I needed to pump the tires.  The folks at the bike store instructed me that I should be at least measuring tire pressure once per week.  I had never pumped the tires or measured the pressure before, and I'd had the bike since March, so I thought I should take their advice.

So, I got out the pump.  It's one of those pumps that has two holes for each of the two different types of valves.  I have Presta valves.  I have never encountered a Presta valve before now.  I shoved it into the pump.  After a few tries, I realized that the little screw on the end of the valve needed to be unscrewed.  So, I unscrewed it.  I tried putting the valve back on again.  It wasn't staying on.  The gauge wasn't telling me how much air was in the tires.  Nothing was working.  I was getting frustrated, and it was maybe 155 degrees, and I had sweat running down my face into my eyes.  I think I had stupidly already put on my helmet.  I decided to switch to the back tire to see if I had more luck with that one.  Same result.

In mad desperation, I pushed the pump onto the valve as far as it would go.  And I pumped.  And the tire appeared to be filling with air.  The gauge still wasn't really registering anything, but the tire seemed harder.  I started trying to pull the pump off of the valve, but it was stuck.  So, I pulled.  And PULLED.  And PULLED.  POP, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....  I pulled the valve right out of the tube.  The tire deflated.

Now, I had planned to take "Tire Changing 101" at my bike shop on Monday.  But, I was busy and it was a crazy weekend, and I wasn't up for actually attending.  So, I had no idea how to change the tire, even though I had all of the materials to do so.  I was embarrassed.  I was upset, and I had to lamely put the bike back in the car and drive home.

At home, I logged onto my bike shop's website and found the instructions for how to change a tire.  Todd wanted to help, but I needed to learn how to do it on my own.  Of course it had to be the back tire.

It really wasn't that bad, although it took me forever.  Finally, 3 hours after my initial attempt, I got out for a 15 minute ride.

Sigh.

The whole time I was changing that tire, all I was thinking was how silly it was that I was even bothering with this bike.  I was mad, thinking this was a stupid purchase.  Why did I do this?  I don't know what I'm doing, and I hate all of this mechanical stuff that I have to know.  Running is so easy compared to this!!  Let's not forget, too, how scared I am of crashing the bike again.  If you have not seen it, you should check out Hyperbole and a Half's new bicycle post.  It reminds me of me.

Image Credit: Allie Brosch / Hyperbole and a Half

3 comments:

marathonmaiden said...

i'm sorry for laughing during this post. i bet in hindsight it's funny? i feel your pain though. i'd have been in the same situation and i likely would have been in tears!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Wow, what an introduction to cycling and a basic tire change. Only it isn't basic for awhile. Stick with it, cycling will remind you of flying when you get comfortable.

Staci Dombroski said...

I do not know how to change the tire either. I would be completely lost!!

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