Yesterday, J reported about day one of our cross continent journey. She mentions the day was long, that Gravol makes her feel dopey, and how we had three flat tires. These flat tires were a real worry over night. Our bike had not failed us like this before, and while we are more heavily loaded than we were before, it wasn’t that much more. We needed to find a solution or the trip was going to be in some jeopardy.
It turns out the problem comes from relying too much on technology. We always carry a small pump with us to use in emergencies. It’s a fancy one with a built in pressure gauge. In the four years we’ve had it, we have never had reason to use it. Until now.
Flying with the bike means the tires need to be deflated. Our hosts did not have a pump to fit presta valves (most people don’t). So I used the little pump, working like mad to get the gauge to read 80lbs. The pump got hot, and seeing the number on the gauge after a few minutes of intensive pumping was proof of success.
This morning, at the bike shop, it took no time at all for the guy behind the counter to identify the holes in our tubes as “snake bites”, two holes close together where the rim has pinched the tube, a sure sign of under inflation. Out came his pump as proof. Both tires were running around 40 lbs of pressure.
I should have given them a solid squeeze.
We’ve replaced the ruined tubes and come away reminded that technology needs to be salted with common sense.
A knowledge of snake bites helps too.
I’m glad we went to a bike shop and didn’t just pick up more tubes at Canadian Tire. If we had, we’d be in trouble today. As it was, we had no flat tires today.