Dear J-

There was a lot of noise behind me this morning and I figured out why after a few minutes: my bike had gotten a flat sometime between last night and this morning, which I didn’t discover until halfway down the block and too late to use alternate means (i.e., walk to the train station, which is roughly half an hour). So here’s my plan: on my lunch break, walk over to the bike shop and get a new tube (I’ve tried patching before and it never works), portable pump (my old portable became a toy for the kids) and tire levers (where did I put those, anyway?) and fix my tire sometime this afternoon. There’s a lot going on today and I’m not sure I’ll have a chance, though, but on the other hand, if I want to go home in style …

This has been a good bike for me. Perhaps I should have kept my old bike and fixed it up but this one works pretty well and I’ve never had a reason to complain about it, other than fretting a bit about rust in the rain. If the catalogs are to be believed, the bike is twenty years old and could probably do with a little less exposure, but rain or shine, it’s been a solid ride and that deserves nicer tubes, doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll get … TWO tubes so I’ll be ready for the next flat. And then tires. And then … yeah, there’s a lot to be thought of, aren’t there? Toe clips or real click-in stuff? Fenders and other stuff like racks and lights, I’ve already got that at least. I pulled out what I thought was the culprit but I’m sure there are a lot of bad actors along the way. Tire liners? What else? The mind boggles. I need to re-read how Sheldon Brown sets derailleur tension and maybe I can use them again.

It’s gotten dry again which means that maybe these little bits would have gotten washed away instead of stuck, or perhaps it’s my own laziness in riding on the dirt path instead of the paved road, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. I have the means and the knowledge to fix it, so let’s go ahead and tackle it together.



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