Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No Joy in Riding-ville

I've been riding a lot lately. 112 miles last month. More than that through yesterday this month. 70 miles last week. A combination of riding to work and riding for fun. Actually, riding to work has been fun too. My goal, though possibly a little aggressive, is to do 250 this month.

Went riding with John on Saturday; I did 26.5 miles by the time I got home, which is the most I've done in a long time. He wasn't really riding fast enough for me, even after I tried to encourage him to go faster. Particularly since it was cold and we were near the marina... I started to get cold. I wound up being a little creative to stay warm. First I rode for a few minutes only pulling up on the clipless pedals. That was tough. Then I rode for a while in a high gear, pedalling a lot faster. That helped.

So, this morning Rachel and I went out to get the bike ready for me to ride to work. She didn't want to ride with me today, which I was a little bummed about, but it's OK. Turns out my rear tire's flat. At first I was going to skip and just drive. Then I decided, no, I should just replace the tube; I have another and a nice new floor pump. I get the wheel off (I should buy a bike stand if I'm really going to be doing much maintenance myself), the tire open and the tube out... better check for any thing inside or through it. Oh, look. A staple. Fair enough. Get that out, get the new tube in, pump it up a little, put the tire back on.

Start filling the tube. Oh, wait... if I pump it up too high, it'll be hard to get it past the brakes. Put the wheel back on. Pump it up the rest of the way. Oh, now, as long as I have the pump out, I might as well make sure that the front wheel hasn't lost any pressure.

Now comes the fun part. As I start to pump up the front (you have to pump a little to get the hose up to the pressure of the tire)... wait for it... the back tire blows.

Huhhh. Interesting. Don't have any more tubes. Guess I won't be riding to work today after all!

At this point, I can think of at least a few possibilities:

1- there's still something sharp in there (this seems doubtful, because I wouldn't expect it to blow as much as leak down)
2- I twisted the tube; possible, but I don't think so
3- The tube was defective; again, possible, but seems relatively unlikely
4- I overinflated it. This seems the most likely. I am pretty sure they told me to do 105 PSI, which is what I was trying for, but maybe I misremembered.

I bought Bicycle Magazine's maintenance book today, but I think I'm going to take it back and get Zinn's new one when it comes out in Nov. Have to go look at the 2000 edition today. Or maybe this weekend... more important is to go get new brake pads, tubes, and maybe some kevlar-belted tires!

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