Monday, June 27, 2011

Bike Repairs, Big and Small

Well, folks, I got in 25 miles today, before it happened.

I was crossing the parking lot at Go Daddy in Hiawatha--my usual route from the Cedar River Trail towards my house some 3 miles east of there in north Cedar Rapids--when I felt like the bike did a shimmy. A sidestep, a slide--or some other dance move.

I don't dance, and neither does my bike. I was worried a whole bunch of spokes must have popped at once and the rear wheel was rapidly disintegrating like the old computer on Star Trek that went up in smoke when it was asked to compute pi to the last digit.

The wheel and spokes were fine. But the inner tube was deflating.

Feeling as deflated as my back wheel, I started walking home. As I walked, the back wheel lost it's remaining air, and the tire separated from the wheel wall and began to get in the way of the brake. Every rotation of the wheel it got stuck. Every time--and did I mention I was three miles from home?

I called Audrey for a rescue ride. She was at a park with grandkids and had to take them home to come get me. 5 minutes after I called her, I figured out that if I carefully kept the bike totally upright and walked fairly slowly, I could avoid the brake problem--tried to call her back to cancel the rescue (3 miles is a hike, but doable), but it was too late.

Sigh. So we stopped at the bike shop and got me a new inner tube. Not going to do RAGBRAI on a patched tube that has been flat before!

In the meantime, I found a frame pump to put on my bike--won't work as well as the foot pump, but will certainly be more portable. And I super glued the mirror that you see on today's sports page of The Gazette.

Will have to fix the tube tomorrow, as I have some on-campus commitments. But it should be doable, and I will like having the mirror back (the mirror had snapped off of the other piece). Finally, Audrey got me new lights (I wanted two rear lights and having another front one is fine, too) that I got batteries for today, so I'll install those.

Between those chores and the computer I installed over the weekend, and Blackie has been having a lot of work done. Well, better now than 40 miles outside of Glenwood. And I'm glad the tire went flat in Hiawatha and not Thursday night in Center Point!

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