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Old 11-08-11, 05:47 PM   #1
cranky old dude
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Glad I wasn't 'bent...

November is generally the time of year that I put my recumbent commuter aside and ride my "Foul Weather" Trek mountain bike instead. Last night that worked out to my advantage.

I work 12.5 hour shifts, two day shifts followed by two night shifts, every week. I leave the house by bike at 4:00 (a.m/p.m.) and leave work for home at 5:30 (a.m./p.m.). This time of the year my commute is in the dark both going to work and coming home on the day shift. On the night shift it's dark on the ride home and fading daylight on the way to work. My day shifts are very difficult for me as I'm always very, very tired. Conversly, I find the night shifts to be very easy and I'm generally wide awake. I guess I'm nocturnal by nature.

O.K. Enough background information...here's the story.

While riding my Trek home from work last night I ran into a little problem about 1 1/2 miles from home. I felt the back of the bike getting a bit wishy washy. A quick check verified that I was losing air from my rear tire.

I had figured that I had enough air left to easily reach a nerarby, well lit main road before I'd be riding on the rim. I made it with some time to spare and rode a couple more blocks before the tire was completely flat.

So here I am, about 1 1/4 miles from home with a flat rear tire. I'm dead tired. It's dark but I am under street lights and I can use my portable headlight as a flashlight. It's dry and peaceful with temperatures in the low 60's.

I had some options;
* I could stop and repair the tire along the side of the road. I really didn't feel like doing that, I was really tired.
* I could get off the bike and walk it the rest of the way home. Again, I was really tired and anxious to get home.
* I could keep pumping air into the tire every few blocks.
* The tires are quite old Geax Street Runners and I'm shopping for replacements, but they're not so worn that I would just keep on riding flat possibly destroying the tire and damaging the wheel.

Had I been on my recumbent, I would have either fixed the flat then and there or walked the bike home. But I was on my Trek and had yet one more option. I opted to stand on the pedals and put as much of my 220 lbs. over the handlebar as possible thus un-weighting the rear of the bike. I rode slowly the rest of the way home supporting my weight up front on the bar and letting the lightened rear just follow along. The tire was none the worse for wear and the wheel was totally unscathed.

I had a nice relaxing dinner and then retreated to my well lit garage, put the bike up on my repair stand, removed the back wheel, and repaired the flat while comfortably seated on a chair listening to classic rock on the radio. I had no risk of loosing any tools in the grass by the road, I was comfortable, I had cold beer, I was happy.

I was sure glad to have been upright, at least last night anyway!

Last edited by cranky old dude; 11-08-11 at 05:51 PM. Reason: speling
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Old 11-08-11, 09:20 PM   #2
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Ha. I've never tried that, but it sounds like it would have been pretty physically taxing to maintain that posture.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:27 PM   #3
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Ha. I've never tried that, but it sounds like it would have been pretty physically taxing to maintain that posture.
My wrists hurt by the time I got home. They recovered in time to eat dinner though.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:29 PM   #4
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I opted to stand on the pedals and put as much of my 220 lbs. over the handlebar as possible thus un-weighting the rear of the bike. I rode slowly the rest of the way home supporting my weight up front on the bar and letting the lightened rear just follow along. The tire was none the worse for wear and the wheel was totally unscathed.
Well done, sir.

I have used this trick on a couple of occasions in close proximity to the abode. As you mentioned, it is much nicer to be able to effect the repairs in the comforts of one's own home.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:36 PM   #5
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Glad you made it home safely. That is one ROUGH schedule to maintain week after week. My compliments.
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Old 11-08-11, 09:45 PM   #6
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I'm glad you made it home too! Plus, I can feel your pain since I had a similar situation on the way to work one morning last week (about 5:50AM in the dark).

I was on my folding bike (DaHon Curve 8 w/16" wheels) and I noticed the (mostly) flat tire when disembarking the Metro train. Not wanting to deal with changing a tire in a frankly not good part of Los Angeles, I just pumped it up, rode it for as long as I could . . . then did exactly what you did, i.e. leaning on the handlebar to keep my weight (162 lbs. in my case) on the front wheel/tire.

Then I worked on changing the tube on my morning break and at lunch. I didn't get the beer you did; had to make do with a Coke Zero! And our background music at work is jazz, not classic rock. But whatever.

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Old 11-08-11, 10:19 PM   #7
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My seat post slipped during a ride years ago and I wasn't carrying any tools. The options were to ride the saddle as it rested on the seattube top - kinda like a circus monkey, ride standing up, or walk. I chose option #2. Gotta say, with downtube friction shifters, shifting in that manner is a somewhat of a nuisance.
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Old 11-08-11, 11:17 PM   #8
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I'm glad it was not your front tire
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Old 11-09-11, 03:02 PM   #9
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I'm glad it was not your front tire
Wheelie nice whide home.

Surprising what you can do if you try.

Glad You got home and into a comfortable garage.
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Old 11-09-11, 03:37 PM   #10
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Glad it turned out okay. I like to have your paychecks!!
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Old 11-09-11, 05:34 PM   #11
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..... I like to have your paychecks!!
I'm afraid that it's not very easy to get by on my pay. The last pay raise I got was back in 1994 and that 0.5% raise has since been obliterated by the 6% paycut of 2004.

In my company, production doesn't get pay increases anymore... just annual Holiday down-sizings.
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Old 11-09-11, 06:29 PM   #12
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Gosh, I wish there were a video of your ride that we could all watch!
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Old 11-09-11, 06:41 PM   #13
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Gosh, I wish there were a video of your ride that we could all watch!
Since it was dark out I'll do you one better....Sit up in your desk chair, put your hands onto the front edge of your desk, lean forward, close your eyes tightly, and jiggle around on the chair a bunch.

Thank you for riding "Cranky's Bicycle Flat Tire Simulator".
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Old 11-09-11, 08:23 PM   #14
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Glad to read you made the trip home okay Lenny. At least you could be warm, dry well fed and a cold beer in hand rather than hiking in late.

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Old 11-09-11, 09:06 PM   #15
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Since it was dark out I'll do you one better....Sit up in your desk chair, put your hands onto the front edge of your desk, lean forward, close your eyes tightly, and jiggle around on the chair a bunch.

Thank you for riding "Cranky's Bicycle Flat Tire Simulator".
Yeah! That works!
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Old 11-10-11, 12:47 PM   #16
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Someone took a picture of Lenny's ride home.

http://www.bikerumor.com/wp-content/...hugeblocks.jpg
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Old 11-10-11, 12:54 PM   #17
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Was that flat # 2 cranky. Remember one with me.
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Old 11-10-11, 02:01 PM   #18
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Someone took a picture of Lenny's ride home.

http://www.bikerumor.com/wp-content/...hugeblocks.jpg


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Was that flat # 2 cranky. Remember one with me.
Yep. That pesky air keeps trying to escape!

Two flats in 2600 miles this season...not too bad, but nuthin' to write home about either.

EDIT: By the way, that front flat on the Tour Easy was one of the easiest tube changes I ever experienced out on the road. That two legged ESGE kickstand holding the front of the bike up in the air sure made life more enjoyable that day!!

Last edited by cranky old dude; 11-10-11 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-10-11, 06:04 PM   #19
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good for you. nothing like yankee ingenuity.
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Old 11-10-11, 08:54 PM   #20
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My hat off to you, that's a heck of a commute!!
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Old 11-11-11, 08:22 AM   #21
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That schedule sounds insane, what kind of work do you do?
Good solution to the flat, glad it worked out for you. I think I'd be calling for resuce.
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Old 11-11-11, 01:09 PM   #22
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That schedule sounds insane, what kind of work do you do?
Good solution to the flat, glad it worked out for you. I think I'd be calling for resuce.
I'm an assistant Plant Operator in a refinery. We refine, store, supply, and ship numerous solvents. It's a 24/7/365 operation, hence the rotating schedule.

What could be more fun than playing with highly volitile carcinogens for 12 hours every day?

Riding in traffic!
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