Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm tired... so tired *

I'm a little loath to admit this, especially with the likes of Eolai out there, but I detest filling bicycle tires.

I like to ride my bicycle, but every spring I delay later the day when I must fill the bicycle tires.

It doesn't help that our garage is beginning to look like the home for stray two-wheelers. I keep trying to fulfill my Jessica Fletcher fantasy and get a marvelous heavy old sheep dog of a bike (ladies' style, of course) to ride around town. To the train station, or to the farmers' market (same thing in our town). This means I have three sets of hungry tires to feed once the snow melts. One has gone lame (=needs new tires), but the other two are just fine.

We do have two very functional bicycle pumps. But one of them attaches in a funny way, and I always waste ages pumping away while a gentle hissing sound reminds me that none of this effort is actually putting air into the tires. My hands get bruised, my back gets sore, and I get maybe six pounds of pressure registering. (I do have a very nice tire gauge.)

So my preferred solution is to walk the bike to the nearest filling station (Does anyone still call them that? You know, a gas station.) and use the compressed air hose. I'm offended by the ones that expect me to put quarters in a machine to get air, so I seek out places that give away air for free. There's one about half a mile from the house. I trundle my lovely heavy bicycle over there, and that's when I'm forced to admit that I am also no good with a compressed air hose. I press down and, like a baby refusing to nurse, the tire just gets flatter and flatter as I fish for the nozzle sunk deep in the rim. Then I get into a rhythm: aha! it's latched on! here comes the air! whoops, no, now it's just releasing it all again, yes! got it now! no, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, wow that's fast, it'll be really firm, last all summer long... BANG!! Ears ringing, I look around , hoping no one's been watching me. I trudge home with my crippled paleolithic bike and wonder if I could just get solid tires like I had when I was a little kid.

* lyric reference from Blazing Saddles

1 comment:

Eolaí gan Fhéile said...

Ah yes, but I'm living off glories long past.

I hate filling too. For 9 wonderful years I had a great little hand pump (purchased on that trip), but its replacement does that air whistling past your hand and ear trick. There was also a cheap foot pump I bought in a discount store that broke when I stood on it!

And because I've done the over pumping (under protest, I should add, for I knew) thing - indoors with a footpump, the memory my ears have would never let me go near a motor vehicle pump.

Technology has moved on so much in the last ten years that they now make th emost wonderful tubes and tyres so that you shouldn't need to fill them very often at all. If you have the money. I don't.

Now if I had my act together and my cycling blog was launched, this post would have been a perfect link for it.