Learn Something New

December 26, 2013

I had been wanting to get this necklace for some time now. If you didn’t click through, (lazy me not just posting the picture of it), it’s a ceramic oval that says “Learn Something New Every Day” on it. Learning is my favorite, so this was high on my list of things I wanted. And so my mom got it for me for the holidays this year. Yay, Mom!

Immediately, something new popped up for me to learn about. I went to take my bike out for a quick ride to the library to drop off some things that were due back, when I noticed the front wheel was locked up. It seemed to be something frakked up with the brakes, so I immediately, like a giant nerd, went to Google with it. As I was searching, I was startled by a loud popping noise, that I immediately knew was the tire blowing out. Yeah, I screamed a little. It was loud and in the middle of my tiny living room it sounded like a gun went off. My poor cats ran into the other room away from the bad noise, and I was just like, “Okay, guess I am walking to the library.”

When I got back from the library, I looked up how to fix a flat and possible reasons for it. I figured whatever was frakked with the brakes was a likely culprit. But I didn’t have the tools to pull the tire back enough to inspect the tube, so I decided to… go to the comic book shop. This makes sense, I swear. I had forgotten that it was new Saga day (last week!!!) and so I wanted to go pick up my pull list stuff, and the comic shop just happens to be right across the street from a local bike shop. Two birds, one stone, blah blah.

But hey, you might wonder, aren’t you totally old enough to already know how to change a bike tire? Yeah, I am, but I hadn’t owned a bike in years until last year when I decided to get one for myself for my birthday. And hadn’t gotten to take it out much because of spine issues. And possibly also laziness, yeah, fine, whatever. So that is why I hadn’t had any issues with replacing bits of it til now.

The guy at the comic shop told me that they are having a pretty sweet sale tomorrow and Saturday, and I thought, “Yeah, maybe I will come back down. Friday is halvsies day at the thrift store down here, so maybe…” I like to have multiple reasons for driving someplace if it’s kind of out of my way. But then the bike shop guy said that if the tube and such that he sold me didn’t sort my problem, just to bring the bike in and he’d help me figure out what was wrong. Obviously, if you know anything at all about foreshadowing, things went wrong.

I got home, had some leftover Christmas pizza, and then set to work on the tire. It was pretty easy to get one side pulled out with the right tool. I pulled out the tube and saw the blow-out spot. Nothing seemed out of place with the tire, from what I could tell, so I put the new tube in and blew it up. Not 60 seconds later, BAM, there was that loud popping noise again, and my poor cats went running back to the bedroom to cower. Yeah, I was annoyed that I basically just wasted money on a new tube that I immediately ruined, but I was super glad the blow-out happened while I was not riding the bike.

I shook off my annoyance and retrieved the freshly ruined tube to inspect it. Sure enough, the blow-out was in the exact same spot as the other one, and even had the same pattern of explosion to it. So that means tomorrow I will just pack the bike into my compact car and see if the guys at the shop think the brakes frakked up the tire, and if something needs to be tweaked so it doesn’t happen to a brand new tire that I will probably have to purchase. Bonus that there is a Yelp check-in discount at this place for a tune-up, so that’ll come in handy if I have to get that done. Might as well, just to make sure the thing is safe to operate. So it looks like I should definitely see about learning a bit more about bicycle maintenance so I can sort out these things on my own, when I can. In this case, I think I might be in a little over my head on fixing it. I will find out more tomorrow. After all (cue cheesy after school special type music), it is important to learn something new every day.

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