When I bought my bike I wanted to be ready for possible problems on the road. I already had a patch kit so I put that in my bag and I planned on buying a bicycle tool kit and spare tubes to take with me but then reality set in. I had very limited space and my recumbent bike has two different size tires so I would have to carry two tubes with me and just couldn’t justify the room (I’ll bet NASA has the same problem). I did have room for a small tool kit but procrastination got the better part of me.
I noticed a few weeks ago that my tires were looking a bit worn so I planned on buying new tires and tubes and replacing them. This would not only cut the risk of a flat, it would also give me valuable experience if I needed to fix a flat on the road. It has been years since I fixed a flat and never on this particular bike.
I am very busy during the week so I decided to do this on the weekend. The weekend before last, my wife and I were away for our anniversary, and last weekend other circumstances prevented me from replacing my tires. I decided this coming weekend I would do it for sure.
When I got to work Wednesday I noticed my rear tire looked worse than ever. I thought to myself, “Just last one more day. I’ll drive to work on Friday and everything will be right with the world.”
It was not to be. I was two miles from work yesterday when the rear tire went flat. I put air in it but it would not hold it. I thought about patching it on the road but since I am somewhat of a novice on bike repair, I decided to walk the bike to work and fix it on my lunch break. I must say I felt a little silly walking with my bike but I made it to work only ten minutes late.
During lunch I pulled the tire off and put air in the tube. I am glad I did not stop to fix it on the road because I could not find the leak without putting it under water. I got out my patch kit and discovered the tube of rubber cement was empty. Can you tell yet that I was never a Boy Scout?
Fortunately there is an auto parts store near my work so I bought a patch kit there that had enough for about 50 patches. A bit overkill but beggars can’t be choosers.
I patched the tube and made it home with no problem, although I did have to carefully dodge a lot of road debris and I ran over a lug nut as I was racing to get through a green light. That made me nervous but caused no leak.
As we all know, the best way to learn is by making mistakes. If failure is a great teacher, than I am a great student. Tomorrow I am buying new tires, tubes, tools and whatever else I need and I will be better prepared the next time this happens.