Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Waves of Flats...

Last Friday night, the DC area was under a severe weather alert, and there were tornado watches issued. I checked the weather before I headed out, and when I got out of the garage with my bike, it was lightly raining, so I decided to go for it.

I got about halfway home, about to pass Catholic University, when I noticed my front tire was a bit soft. I got off to check it, and sure enough, it was a flat. I looked up ahead to some administrative buildings, and saw a covered stairwell that I could take care of it and be out of the rain and any lightning danger, as there were big trees around. To do a quick change, I just put in an inner tube that had been patched previously and ready to go. While I was wrapping things up, the rain came down, so I was glad to miss getting poured on.

I got within a couple miles of my house, and it REALLY started to pour, so I decided to wait it out a little while under a church awning (the building used to be an old theatre, so the "awning" was a marquee). As I waited, I looked at my tire to see how it was holding up. It wasn't - it was going down. :/ Here we go again. I pulled the inner tube out and patched the new hole and when I finished, the rain had diminished (nice little rhyme there! ha!). So I finally got home about a half hour past the normal arrival time.

On Monday, I took off for work, and as I got close to the office, I noticed my tire was going down. I hadn't checked the tire before I left home, and usually, I do check it and add air. So I parked my bike, added some air, and came back in a few hours to check to see if it held. No, it didn't. :/ So I patched the inner tube and put it back in, hoping that would be the end. It did fine in running an errand and getting me home.

This morning, it was flat yet again!! This time, I put a new inner tube in and gave up on the old one. I figured that if the new inner tube had problems, I would probably need a new tire. (The tires are about a year and a half old. I had checked the inside of the tire to see if there were any sharp points and also the rim, just in case you're wondering!). I got a half a block from work and noticed my tire going down again!!

OKAY!! So at lunch, I walked over to a nearby bike shop and bought a new Continental tire and a new inner tube, confident that this would solve it. After I had put air in the tire, I was putting the cap on the valve, but it wasn't going on very well. I realized it was the cap for the old inner tube (even though you'd think it wouldn't make any difference?), so I unscrewed it to put the correct cap on, and when doing that, the valve head came exploding OFF!! There goes a $7 new inner tube! :/ Sigh. So I grabbed the old one, and patched it, and put it in. I will go downstairs in a couple hours to see if everything is alright. I have to meet a friend for her birthday dinner tonight, and I don't have time to be dealing with this problem tonight.

So, in taking a poll of my readers...how do you think this saga will end? :)


Rootchopper said...

Well, you probably should have used a $1 bill as tire boot for starters. (I once used a $5 bill - it was all I had - and discovered it a year later when I replaced the tire!)

I get a rash of flats every June. I don't know why but usually I replace the tire and tube and I am good to go. Of course, I only do that AFTER I've blown $15 on replacement tubes. You'd think I'd learn.

Tom said...

New here...is it normal for you to have that much bad luck in one day? I'm just starting riding again after 25 years off the bike, hoping I have very few days like that.
By the way I'm guessing the repaired tire is fine now.

Char said...

John: I'd probably use a $1/$5 bill if I was in a remote area, but here in town, I just patch or replace the inner tube. :) Interesting about you getting flats in June & getting a new tire each June...something to note!

Tom: Welcome to my blog! :) Actually, it's not often that I get so many flats or bad days like this. It's just evidence that I needed a new tire - but I had to go through the "process of elimination". :) I was trying to avoid incurring the cost of a new tire, but I think there must be a steel thread that is poking holes in my inner tubes - so that's why I decided to get a new tire. :)

Results: I checked my new tire a couple hours after installing the new tire and it is holding air. Yea! :) :)

Spence said...

To save time when I have a flat I roll on the rim to either a bus connection or back home. It has never ruined the tire. I've never been able to patch a tube, should carry a spare new tube I guess, then I'd have to carry a pump, and running with Tuffys in tires flat are very rare.
Oddly, by hybrid went flat biking to work Monday, and the new tire I had installed on my Fuji 10 speed went flat yesterday. The mechanic said there was a seperation in the tube, and the first replacement tube he tried had a small hole too! He finally found a tube that would hold air.

Enjoying your blog keep on posting.

John said...

I have found it most useful to put about a tablespoon or so worth of baby powder in my tubes to help find the hole and the offending object that caused it. There are lots of staples in-front of the library for some reason.