These kids today

All tired out.

So there I was, just riding along, when the rear tire started going softer than Brett Kavanaugh’s FBI background check.

I was already heading home, so I figured I’d just head there faster. But first I stopped to pump the tire up a bit because cornering on the rim at speed is always iffy.

That worked, for a while, but it was clear I would have to stop to give the ol’ Zéfal another workout if I wanted to ride this mess home, where the floor pump, workstand, and air conditioning reside.

So there I was, just pumping along, when a couple young women on mountain bikes rolled up.

“Do you need any help?” one asked brightly.

“No, thanks, I’m good,” I replied. And off they went.

Wasn’t that nice of the younguns, to offer aid and comfort to the auld fella? Lucky for them I wasn’t a Supreme Court justice.

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12 Responses to “These kids today”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    If they were cute, you could have asked them to help you pump it up. The tire, that is.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Looking at that picture. Did you actually managed to flat a Schwalbe?

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    For chrissakes POG you can’t withhold critical information with this storyline. Once you arrived home…. What kind of tire levers? Just how old were those tubes and was the sealant stock with them or added on later in the dead of night. Whilst you had the wheel out did you clean the rim walls and attempt to true it up? What was the ambient temperature in the garage workshop? It’s unlike you to short-sheet we readers like this. Little did the two young’uns know they passed by the Mark Twain of bicycle writing.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, whaddaya expect from a semiretired slacker and full-time troglodyte? Faced with a technological challenge I invariably hoot dolefully for a few moments (“Ook ook ook), then pick up a smooth, hand-sized stone or some other blunt object and start pounding on things (“Ook ook ook chee chee chee!”).

      Whew. Now that the lizard brain has decided to take a nap I can tell you that the bike was a Soma Saga touring bike (cantilever model, now discontinued) and the tires Schwalbe Little Big Bens, a stout, durable, 700×38 tire lacking in sensitivity (not unlike myself) that can be ridden quite a ways while almost completely flat (again, not unlike myself).

      Inflation device is a Zéfal HPX frame pump, which is swell for pumping up slow leaks and/or pounding on things.

      Inner tubes are Specialized AirLock (Presta valve, 700×28-38) of an indeterminate age. These sumbitches work right nice and for quite a while, though if you leave a bike hanging for a while in cold weather the sealant can clump up in spots, so you’ll want to put ’er in the workstand and spin the wheels for a few minutes if you don’t want to feel like you’re riding a bucking bronco for the first few klicks. I keep a few bottles of the stuff around to goop up other tubes with removable valve cores as necessary.

      Tire irons? Whoo, Hoss, you got me there. Plastic nesting levers made in England, and no manufacturer’s logo. They’ve never failed me yet; I must have a dozen of them in various saddlebags.

      Ambient temp in the workshop (my office) is 78°, though if I’m feeling the glow whilst banging on things with rocks and sticks I occasionally will nudge the Honeywell thermostat downward a degree.

      Finally, “clean?” “True?” Your words are strange, friend. Anything gets dirty or weird around here, out it goes. Unless it’s me, of course.

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