Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thar She Blows!

Choosing a name for this blog was not an easy task. First, an odd numbered group of your peers was assembled as a test group. A list of blog titles was then distributed and a short list was assembled of the most popular.
"The Flat Tire" won with ninety percent of the vote.
Blog content had nothing to do with the voting. In fact, the title came before the content was written. When asked to comment on the title chosen, the sample group used words like "witty" and "catchy" to describe the selection.
Actually, I kept tossing phrases into the title generator and "The Flat Tire" was the first one to come up that wasn't already in use.
Despite what I wrote on day one, this blog has nothing to do with flat tires. In spite of this, let me tell you what happened the other day.
I had come home from a nice ride on my day off which wasn't really a day off. When I left work on Friday, everyone was telling me to have a nice weekend and see you on Tuesday. Seems Monday was one of those strange days when students, and only students do not report to school.
Well, on Monday, I was riding around laughing at all the other schools that were open. Turns out, I was not off and was supposed to be in school too. Oh, well.
So I get back home at around two in the afternoon. I get into my post ride ritual which involves collapsing on the couch and turning on the TV. Law and Order is not yet on so I just ignore the TV and start searching Ebay. I have no money and I don't want to buy anything but I scan Ebay anyway. After a while, I get hungry so I feed myself and the dog and settle back down on the couch.
Now, I'm watching Law and Order (the afternoon TNT version) and out of nowhere there comes a loud bang. Like a gunshot. My ears ring.
It was really loud but my dog is now deaf so he just sits there like nothing is going on. I get up and look over in the direction of the explosion. What the hell?
The rear tire on my bicycle blew up. Just like that. After sitting in the living room for four hours. Boom!
I just sit there bewildered for a moment. This is a fairly new tire for the other tire I had also blew up but this happened while I was on the road.
I must have caught something in the first tire that tore my sidewall and it suffered a catastrophic failure. That was okay. That tire had about a thousand miles on it anyway. This tire that blew up in my living room only logged about two hundred miles. I was perplexed. Angry. Frustrated. Disappointed. et al.
These are not cheap tires, nor are they of the expensive type. The tire was good but not armored. It would seem that something had gotten under the outer casing and was rubbing around under there next to the tube but not enough to cause an immediate failure. No, the tire decided to graciously wait until I was home and explode while I was watching the only show on TV worth watching. Well, next to Breaking Bad.
The whole episode bummed me out.
I have an allowance I set aside each payday for bicycle related items. This week it was pump week. I was searching eBay high and low for a floor pump to purchase. I only have three hundred and sixty more transactions to get my new star and I want to get there before the end of the year.
On Friday in class, when we had the students write about ethical dilemmas little did I know I would be facing my own dilemma so soon.
I have a set of back up tires. Unfortunately they are not of the same type that are presently on my bike. I did get a good deal on them on eBay though. Anyway, I could have just installed them and went on my merry way. After thinking about it, it occurred to me that if I did that, then I would no longer have a back up set.
The last time I got caught without tires for three days I was very unhappy, hence the back up tires. Now if I used them, and something happened, I would be tireless again! That simply would not do.
Luckily, I am on a three day break from riding and even if I had to ride, I still have my road bike which sits in front of me gleaming and shining and unused like a security blanket. It is comforting to know that I have a spare bike. And it does look good.
Back to my dilemma. Do I go out an purchase another of the same tire, or is it time to try another set? I like these tires, but two catastrophic failures are not acceptable. I would like to purchase a set of Schwalbes but to do it right, I must purchase a set of three. One for a spare don't you know. For the price of three Schwalbes, I could buy two car tires. Then, I would also have an extra tire to look at. And I was sort of eyeing a set of Michelins for the bike I never ride. It would look so much better with a set of Krylions.
The cheap out would be to just get another of the same tire and save up until I can comfortably afford the Schwalbes, but the opportunity to replace tires does not come up everyday. In a strange convoluted way I am trying to be frugal. Trying is the key word here.
It would seem that I must decide by tomorrow, for tomorrow is a bike shop day. I have a friend that works there who takes care of me, so I try to make all my purchases when he is there. Actually this is part of the problem also, for the brand of tires he sells is limited to the brand of tires that are presently on my bike. Which takes me back to square one.
Who knew that a flat tire would lead to such a tumultuous conundrum? In a perfect world, buying tires should not be a life challenging decision.
I wonder if I can patch that tire with a little Shoe Goo?

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