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Thread: Unbelievable

  1. #1
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    Unbelievable

    Let me preface this by noting that I went all of 2007 without a single flat. Not one in 3500 miles.

    This morning, as I headed out Crystal Springs on the first leg of what was to be about 50 miles, I noticed the rear tire felt squelchy, and looked soft. So I stopped and checked it - sure enough, it was really soft.

    "Aw, crap, that's the fourth one this year!" I thought, "But at least I have my two spare tubes and my frame pump!".

    I picked a sliver of glass out of the tire, got one side of the tire off the rim, pulled out the tube, and carefully ran my hand all over the inside, to make sure there wasn't ANOTHER sliver of glass. Partially inflated one of my spares, put it in place and began getting the tire back on the rim. Got to the last 6-8 inches of tire that JUST WOULD NOT go back over the rim by hand, so I ever-so-carefully worked my tire irons into place and started pushing. One went right over, and with a little more effort, the other started going, and *PFFFFFFFT!*

    Stupid idiot that I am, I cut the tube. I forgot - when you partially inflate the tube to get it in place, you have to DEflate it to get the tire back on the rim. Oops.

    So, I took the tire BACK off the rim, and got out my remaining spare tube, wondering whether I should ride home (only 4 miles) to get another - after all, I might just get another flat. Got the flatted spare tube out, put the new spare tube in (this time remembering to deflate it so I could get the tire back on the rim without the irons), and started pumping it up. I had difficulty finding just the right place to set the wheel while inflating it, so I inflated it partway, then mounted it on the bike. As I went to put the pump back on the valve stem, I noticed there was no little screw anymore. It had broken off.

    "Uh-oh," I thought, "I better head straight home after I pump this up. So i put the pump on again, and start pumping, and there's air leaking, so I go to reset the pumphead - *PFFFFFFFT!*

    Seems the innards of the valve must have been blown out of the stem and into the tube, without the screw to hold it in place.

    So there I was with THREE blown tubes and no more spares. I called home for the wife to come and get me.

    Then i decided, since Fate obviously didn't want me riding today, that I'd go to Performance and buy a ****load of new tubes. So I change into normal clothes, and the wife says, "Hey as long as you're going to Redwood City, let's go get this camera that's on sale for really cheap at Office Max." So she joins me. She says, "We should get the camera first, just in case they sell out!"

    Sure enough, we get to Office Max, and they're ALL OUT! But they have some in their Mountain View store. So, off we go to Mountain View, where they do, indeed have one. They also have an In-and-Out and a Krispy Kreme, so we have lunch and buy some donuts.

    With our new camera and several thousand unneeded calories, we head to Redwood City to buy the ****load of tubes we'd set out to buy originally. We pull into the parking lot where I've parked so many times before, and as I get out, my wife says, "So where is it?"

    I point, turn, and say, "It's right over th..........."

    IT'S GONE!!! No more Performance Bike store in Redwood City! It's being replaced by a Lane Bryant Store (Plus-size women's clothing) - how ironic. When did THAT happen?

    So we call our son to check where the nearest one is. Seems there's one in Mountain View.

    I gave up. I came home, ate 4 donuts, and I'm gonna go take a nap, and wait for the Universe to start picking on someone else for a while.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  2. #2
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    gj, thanks for sharing that story with us. While I haven't killed three tubes in one sitting (yet), I've done all the other stuff you did on your Flat From Hell (I like to spread out my misery ). And just last week, or maybe it was the week before, I pulled into the same parking lot in RWC that used to contain the PBS, and...hey, where'd it go?! I got to watch them haul carpeting and other gutted interior walls out for a few secs, then decided it was better to leave. I think they shut it down back in late Feb some time.

    BTW, the thing with the tube is to put just enough air in it to give it some body so you're not dealing with a wet noodle when you're putting it all back together. Even with a little bit of air in it you should be able to remount the tire without using levers. Start at the valve at the top and use your fingers to work the tire down and away so you have some slack at the bottom to pop it over the edge of the rim. Levers should only be a last resort.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that PerformanceBike in RWC is gone. It was the first bike shop I frequented in my life. BTW, there's one in Mountain View. j/k!

  4. #4
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Aw man, I was waiting and waiting for the part where your car got a flat en route to buying new bike tubes.

  5. #5
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    I believe it closed down around mid-Feb. Between Mountain View and Redwood City there are like 5 bike shops on El Camino you could have bought new tubes from. Unless you have some special fondness for Performance (Forte) branded tubes. I like to buy the Michelin tubes from Performance when they are on sale. Its too bad about the Redwood City Performance its were I'd usually buy my Cytomax, Clif Bloks and Gu.

  6. #6
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    Indeed, and if I'd known the RWC Performance store had closed, I could have gone to one of them. Such, however, was not the case.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  7. #7
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Uggggh me too!

    1) I got a flat somewhere at the end of the TT on Saturday (glass shard)

    2) Sunday ripping southbound on HWY 1 I hit a deep crack at 25mph just perfectly to have an instant blowout. So I look at the tire, and it was destroyed. It had a huge rip on the sidewall. So I used a patch on the inside of the TIRE to hold the rip, and used a new tube. Filled it up and the tube was bulging out of the rip. So I try it out to see if it's ok. and...

    3) 5 mins later the tire blows out, without hitting anything. So this time A used another tube, and used a folded up wrapper inside of the tire. I filled it up, and this time there was less bulging. It ended up working the rest of the ride. I just took it easy on the downhill sections.

  8. #8
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    I'm beginning to believe there is some supernatural force involved. The two spare tubes I wrecked were the last two tubes I had. Since I had Friday off (and Monday!), I went out and bought 10 (count 'em) TEN spare tubes.

    I replaced the blown one in the back tire of the Battaglin, put two fresh spares in the seat bag, and went off on a completely flat-free ride. No problem at all with tires, tubes, flats, etc. I only wish I could say the same for my legs - THEY went flat.

    So, now I'm thinking that there's some supernatural force that always knows how close you are to having to call home to be picked up. The one consolation is that last Sunday, I had been planning to go over Old La Honda, and whatever supernatural force it is obviously didn't know that, or it would have waited until I was going down the West side, and had no cell signal to blow my tire. I'd have been left walking the bike back up to the top, saying "Can you hear me now?"
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  9. #9
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I was visiting Coit Tower in San Francisco the other day, and while unlocking my bike afterwards, I noticed a pink dot on my back tyre. Thinking it was a small piece of gum, I pulled it off. It turned out to be a thumbtack. I watched helplessly as my tyre slowly deflated.

    I patched it, and then discovered that I'd left my pump at home. I ended up spending an hour walking back to Mission and 7th St. I should have just left the tack in, and could have probably ridden home.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

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