^HISS...or...I never want another flat ever again...^
Fine, so I felt accomplished over a stupid little fix to my bike. And it made a huge difference. I swapped the bike stems; yesterday I realized the tires were a bit low, pumped them up, and did my 15 miles.
I finished that ride (on the trainer) around 2 pm.
Last night at roughly 9 pm, as I sat here in my comfy chair, surfing Reddit despite my initial intention to, you know, work, I heard this sudden, very loud, click-hissssssss, as if a nest of rattlesnakes had spontaneously appeared under the treadmill and were very, very unhappy about being stuck there. Poor Buddah damn near jumped out of his skin but instead of running and hiding, he carefully crept toward the sound, which made me wonder if perhaps, something was under the treadmill.
But no...my rear bike tire had committed suicide.
It was dead, Jim. Very, very dead.
I was not going to change a tube at 9pm. I have spare tubes on hand because at one point I decided it was a good idea to have spare tubes on hand, but I haven't changed an inner tube in 25+ years, and the last one I changed was on a bike with wide, user-friendly tires and my gut said this was a little different.
Face it, 25+ years ago we shoved screwdrivers between the tire and the rim to break the bead, not worrying about rim damage because those suckers were steel and sturdy. It was brain-dead easy, but because of the width of the tire I expected it to be a little tougher, given that there's not nearly enough material to work with.
So to You Tube I went, where the good folks at Global Cycling Network have videos for pretty much anything you need, and I watched as Simon Richardson showed me how to change an inner tube on a skinny tire, and I was confident that I could do it. It looked freaking easy: pull one side of the tire back, insert tire levers, get just one side of the tire off--leave the other side--pull the old tube out, put the new (slightly inflated) tube in, then re-seat the side of the tire you've unseated.
No problem, I can do that.
So this morning, like a champ, I got the rear wheel off, pulled one side of the tire back, used my levers, got it off all the way around...and the whole tire came off.
Should be no problem, right? Just put that side back on as if I were installing a whole new tire.
Except it would not stay on. I'd get it in place, the new tube in, try to seat the other side, and off it would all pop again.
Fine, this side of the tire hates me, I'll do it from the other side.
The other side hated me just as much. The more times I tried, the more that entire wheel hated me.
I ran out of things from the Bad Word List to say.
I don't even want to count how many times I tried and failed to get that tire back on, but it took me well over an hour before I settled on a solution. And I sure as hell don't want to have to do this on the side of the road, like, ever. Not without a whole lot more at-home practice...which I will eventually do, once this bike is no longer my primary ride.
On the plus side, I don't think Buddah is going anywhere near the bike for a while, so hopefully I won't be dealing with as much cat barf on the trainer pad.
No, really, that little shit has gone out of his way to get from wherever he happens to be, just so he can hork onto the pad upon which my trainer and bike sit. And it doesn't just wipe up. No, I have to clean up his mess and then drag the freaking Spot Bot out to get it all.
Same thing with the treadmill, which he has so generously baptized a time or two.
So here's to hoping that explosive hiss was enough to keep him away from it for a while.
(I'm not holding my breath.)