Drive My Bike


Nice Cool Morning!
August 22, 2008, 9:13 am
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The weather has started to change just a bit here in Utah, and that means we are leaving the dog days of summer behind, and getting just a hint of cooler temperatures. This morning’s ride in was in the lower 60’s, and it was wonderful. It was actually a little cool for the first mile or so, and I even thought about a jacket, but then I got warmed up and the cool air just felt great.j0289387 (No, that picture is not me, but I thought it captured the essence of the day)

I bought a new cycle computer the other day, and got it installed last night. Nothing fancy, just a cheap one from WallyMart, but it does tell me how far, how fast, and how long… which is what I wanted to know. It was fun watching that on the ride in today… but I don’t think it helps with my obsession with speed. Oh well.  I’ll probably put some pictures of it up this weekend.

I also “slimed” my front tire… you know, the good kind of slime… that green gooey stuff. Yeah, I haven’t had any more flats since I installed that heavy duty tube with slime in my rear tire, but recently I’ve had some legitimate flats on my front tire. By legitimate, I mean real road hazards… you know, thorns and stuff. I’ve patched the front tire twice recently, but I figured that the slime wouldn’t hurt. I actually was going to put one of those heavy duty tubes in the front as well, but the store was out of them. In fact, the store was out of a lot of biking stuff… it looked like they’ve been selling a lot and hadn’t been able to restock yet. That’s great!

Have a great Friday!



Darn Flat Tires!
June 18, 2008, 8:53 am
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I have experienced two flat tires within my last five rides.  I hope that ratio doesn’t continue!  The worst part is that the holes in the tube were in similar places both times… on the rim side of the tube!  This means they weren’t caused by road hazards, they were caused by something on the rim.  The first time I visually inspected the rim, and ran my fingers around the area, I couldn’t feel anything that would cause a flat.  This time, I actually removed the rubber strip that covers the spoke holes, and inspected everything again, but I still didn’t see or feel anything obvious.  I did take a file and smoothed over ever spot I could find that looked that least bit suspicious, so I hope that will make some kind of difference.

One of the frustrating parts was that when I put everything back together and pumped up the tire… I heard air leaking again… and realized that my patch was not holding.  Argh!  So I took everything apart again, and just replaced the tube completely.  I now have two leaky tubes that need patching… but I don’t trust those “stick on” patches that I was using.  I’m going to buy an old school glue on patch kit, and then I’ll fix those tubes, and keep one with me as a spare.

Both of these flats were on my rear wheel.  I weigh around 200 lbs, and I carry a pannier that is loaded with about 15-20 lbs of gear, which means my rear wheel is carrying most of that weight.  I’ve been very careful to make sure that my tires are at the correct pressure, and I’ve even tried to keep that rear one filled about 5 lbs over spec since I’ve noticed the rear tire seems to compress down a lot while I’m riding, especially up hills.  I really don’t think these were pinch flats, because they both were a single distinct hole, and both on the rim side.  If this keeps up I’m going to try one of those heavy duty tubes to see if that will make a difference.

Do any of you out there have any flat tire wisdom to share?  Have flats been much of an issue with your rides?  Do you carry an extra tube all the time?  Have you had success with those “stick on” patches, or do you use the old school glue on kind?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

UPDATE: I think I fixed my tire issues. Go here to see the solutions I ended up with.