I rode out this morning to prayers as I always do; went up the bridge, down the bridge, rode on the street for a bit, took the sidewalk for another part, took the left turning lane and crossed the incoming lanes into a parking lot through which I shortcut into my synagogue’s parking lot. As I am about to turn into the synagogue… BAM!
It sounded like a huge balloon popping, which in essence it was: my back tire had blown out and gone flat.
After more than one year of riding, I had just gotten my first flat tire on the Red Beast.
I’ve no idea what caused it. There was a small bump on the road right before the tire busted, but I could not see anything on the floor that could have caused it. I’m sure it was a bike ninja. I left the bike at the synagogue and walked back home, going back with the car a couple of hours later to pick it up to take it for repairs.
I tried one store first but there was no one in (an emergency had come up, I later found out), so I went to JB Bike Shop on Collins Ave. What I thought would be a matter of replacing an inner tube turned out to be a lot more complicated. The actual tire had blown out (from me filling it up at the gas station air pumps, I was told) and I had two broken spokes. Great.
I know I’m going to replace this bike soon, but it isn’t now, so I needed to get it running again. The tube was replaced, the tire replaced as well with another wide (slightly off-)whitewall tire, this new one very knobbly, new spokes installed and the rim aligned. It actually wasn’t as much as I though it would come out to, so that was a pleasant surprise.
I took out the bike with the new tire for a spin around the block, to make sure all was well. The bike runs well, but the different texture of the new back tire makes sounds that I’m not used to, so it throws me off. We needed to “adjust” (and by adjust I mean push, pull and bend into submission) the back fender and I’ll probably have to tweak it again soon. The new tire changes the way the bike rides, but it still rides well, so I can’t complain. I need the Red Beast to last me at least a couple more months, so I gotta take care of it.
The good thing about the new tire is that it does give my bike a lot more traction on the back, useful for when it rains and the road’s wet.
I’m a tiny bit ashamed that I have no idea how to fix a flat bike tire, but then again, these babies will run over the detrius of society and come out pretty much unscathed, so it’s not a problem I’ve ever have to deal with.
So yay for the new tire on the Red Beast, may it carry me safely till it’s time to get the new one.