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.
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.