It was my full intention to ride my bike to work on Thursday. I was all geared up and ready to go when, as I rolled away from my garage, I noticed an odd friction coming from the rear of the bike. I turned to discover my back tire was flat. Aargh! I had to roll it back into the garage, de-gear from my bike commuting getup and find my car keys — one more car on the road.
This afternoon I set out to fix my flat. I removed the back wheel from the bike frame, grabbed my tire lever (I didn’t know these existed until Dave gave me his extra set — very handy) and peeled the tire from the rim. I pulled out the punctured tube and set it aside. I wasn’t sure what had caused the flat so I inspected the tire carefully until I came across a nail-like pin about half an inch long that was embedded into the tire. Who knows where I picked this up, I’m just thankful it didn’t happen on last weekend’s long ride. I pulled the nail out of the tire and covered the hole with some duct tape. I remembered reading somewhere that this is a good method for saving a tire. I replaced the old tube with a new one, pumped in some air with my floor pump and put the tire back on the rim.
Good as new! Well almost… Some time during my reattachment of the back wheel to the frame, I must have misaligned the chain and derailing system. I took the bike for a ride this afternoon and now the chain is slipping. I’m thinking it’s time for the bike shop to look at it. My bike repair skills don’t go much further than replacing a flat.
In the photos I’ve posted one is of my graveyard, wall-hanging of punctured bike tubes. Some are torn at the seams and others have small holes in them. I can’t bring myself to just toss them out, but I’m not sure what I should do with them or if there’s some way to repurpose them. If anyone has some ideas on what can be done with old bike tubes, I’d love to hear them. — MICHELLE