Observation: I enjoyed fixing my first flat tire in the same way that I enjoyed shoveling snow for the first time. That is to say, it was a cute adventure because it was novel experience during adulthood, and it happened in a context where someone else would have done it if I really didn't want to. However, I suspect that under different conditions (for either case), I would have ended up sitting at the side of the road in tears.
Introduction: It had to happen one day...
I think it's inevitable for all bike owners to one day get a flat tire, and I'm lucky that my first flat went down in the way that it did:
- I went two years before experiencing a flat.
- When I did get a flat, it happened on my front tire, which was much easier to deal with than a rear one would have been. (For reference, see this NYCeWheels blog post on fixing a Brompton rear flat, coincidentally posted earlier this month.)
- I wasn't dealing with a flat in the middle of the ride; obviously it must have happened sometime during my last ride, but I didn't get the full effect of it until after I was already home.
- I didn't have to get a lot of new equipment, and what I did get, I needed anyway now that I'm commuting on a more regular basis.
|Required tools are surprisingly few|
Auspicious circumstances aside, I wouldn't have been able to get through actually fixing the flat without a lot of help from the following, to whom I am thankful:
- The BicycleSPACE staff, who basically told me exactly what to do and what materials I needed get to fix my tire (a patch kit and levers, that's it). They even gave me a little hand-written note about their Thursday "Fix A Flat" class, in case things went horrible wrong!
- D, of course, who talked me through the whole process via FaceTime from a couple states away, and calmed me down in various moments of panic.
I got through the whole thing, and successfully I think, but there were many steps along the way.