Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pushing the limits of serviceability

I commute to school in Pordenone a couple of times per week on the aging Merckx.  The other day school let out and I was getting on my bike when my friend Paul from Ghana said "Your back tire is shot." I looked and he was right, threads were showing, its days were numbered.  I rode home and promptly forgot about it.  I had a new tire sitting in the cupboard, but it slipped my mind.  Fast forward to yesterday.  I was happily pedaling to school and heard a pfft pfft pfft sound.  I pulled over and pumped it up.  After another couple km it flatted again.  I was late so I rode it flat to school, standing and weighting the front wheel.  This riding standing was surprisingly tiring, or maybe it was the 1000 strokes on the mini-pump that wore me out.  

I changed the tire at mid-morning break, pinching my palm with the mini-pump and squirting blood everywhere.  That and all the grease (the Merckx has a broken derailleur hanger and the fiddly temporary one falls off when you remove the wheel).  After cleaning up with no soap (school is short of supplies) I returned to class.

After school I headed home.  I felt great, nice tailwind.  Then at San Martino I heard the pffting again and used my second spare.  No injuries pumping this time but I foreswore the mini-pump from now on.  Gonna start hauling the heavier Road Morph.

This morning I replaced the tire and bought 2 new spare tubes.  Henceforth at the first sign of wear or nickage I'm changing the tire.  I will start writing notes to myself to remember.

See the green tablecloth through the hole?

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