Last night I had plans to meet up with a friend to see a “ninja” performance by Amanda Palmer. But first I wanted to replace the tube in my rear tire.
I get down to the garage, take my bike off the hook, flip it over, get the wheel out, and remember that my spare tubes are upstairs.
I bring down a spare tube and remember that my levers and patch kit are still upstairs.
I am missing one of my steel tire levers. What the hell?! I kept them in the same place for the entire trip. When did one go missing? How? (As a side note, I love my steel tire levers. Plastic ones make me nervous because I’ve had them break on me, and I often can’t get them to work. Not sure if I have weak hands or what. Metal levers run the risk of scratching/bending your rim, and I’ve had them damage a tire bead on an already-old tire, but knowing I can get the damn tire off fairly easily is very nice.)
The spare tube is leftover from The Big Trip and needs patching. The hole is easy to find, and while the glue sets I wipe down one of my rims. I put the patch on and–wait. WTF. Somehow it’s on upside-down! The orange side is up.
I check a couple more patches in that kit: sure enough, the plastic is coming off easy but not the foil. Good thing I didn’t try to actually patch my tube on Saturday. *sigh* I run back upstairs to grab a different patch kit.
And then back upstairs again to get a different tube, figuring I might as well start over.
And then back upstairs because the hole in this one is really tiny, so I have to fill a sink with water and find the hole that way. Now where is that marker?!
While the glue dries again, I wipe down my other wheel’s rim. Holy crap, they get filthy.
Tube goes in without event, and I happily note that the duct tape boot is holding up fine, but the floor pump is giving me weird numbers on the pressure gauge. Tires do not go from zero to 60psi in one pump. The gauge says 100psi, but this does not feel like 100 psi. I worry that the tube is kinked somewhere, but I feel around and the pressure is even.
I try my frame pump, and it’s still being weird. Maybe it’s just the valve? But it feels okay…so I cross my fingers, put the wheel back in, scrub my hands (I always forget to wear gloves!) and leave the house. And I’m not even really running late! I get to the meetup spot just in time.
I’m definitely going to make sure I carry my pump/working patches/levers, because this tire is on its last miles. The tread is just about gone. And you know? This is the tire I bought just before The Big Trip. Four thousand miles is nothing to sneeze at, especially considering it was the rear tire. Schwalbe Marathons for the win!
Also, as the title character in the newspaper comic Rose is Rose once put it: “All things being equal, the absent-minded just get more exercise.”