Friday, September 23, 2005

Commuting events

I suffered two flat tires yesterday on my home-bound commute. The first one was easily fixed. The tire had lost air during the day and I replaced it with a spare that I carry before I set off on my ride. Then that replacement tube expired about a third of the way into my ride. I don't carry a second spare tube and so had to first find the hole in one tube or the other, then repair with patch and latex glue that I carry. Finding the hole proved to be the difficult part. I was reduced, in the end, to segregating sections of tube (by folding it in on itself) while pumping. The weather was cooperative, dry and not overly hot, and the neighborhood (between Shaw and Howard Univ) not too scary; though the repair took 20 minutes or so I didn't lose my composure very much and only worried that B would be worrying.

Caption: Getting the patch on the tube is easy enough, but I've learned the hard way that you have to be patient about the latex glue: you must rough up the tube, then apply the glue -- not too much, not too little -- then wait, wait, wait, until it's practically dry then you can press the patch onto the glue spot. (It's also important that the area of glue match the area of patch pretty closely.)

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