In typical ignorant-me fashion, I was unjustifiably cocky when I set out on this trip.
“I’m not going to get any flats” I told the bike shop employee as he took all my money. “In fact, I’m going to send you my spare tubes and puncture repair kit when I finish my ride.”
Things never change; today, day seven of my journey, I not only got my first flat, but I managed to bend my rim as well.
Why? Because I’m an idiot (but that bit only applies to the rim bending).
And did I mention it’s raining?
Preoccupied distracting myself from the rain, I fail to notice that my tire has gone completely flat and I am riding the rim (that’s not good).
Reluctantly, I stop and prepare to change my first bicycle tire (which, for those who have yet to undertake this thrilling activity, means replacing the air-filled tube inside the tire – not the tire itself).
I cross the roadside barrier (although I’m not confident this will stop an oncoming car) and go to work. It’s my rear tire that’s gone flat which complicates the process by forcing me to deal with the chain (and get my hands greasy). This matters not – this tube, will be changed.
Having successfully removed the wheel from the bike, the tire from the rim, and the tube from the tire, I go about fitting a replacement. With the new tube in place, I put the tire back on the rim, pump up the tube, and – oh.
Turns out that the wheel won’t fit back onto the bike with the tube fully inflated.
But how do I get air out of the tube?
Oh, you push down on the nozzle
With the wheel replaced and the tube now filled with air, I run into another problem: my rim rubs against the brake as the wheel spins. Not good? I don’t think so, since I’ve learned on this ride that friction is my enemy.
No matter how I position the wheel, I can’t get it to spin freely. My solution? Mess with the brake cables and ultimately render my rear brake useless (this was not my intention).
However, it turns out I’ve been using the front brake thinking it’s my rear brake this entire time (I can’t be the only one who assumes the rear brake is on the right – but I guess I should have checked).
There’s a bike shop not too far ahead, so I decide to leave the rear brake be as I limp into town (at least I’ve solved my rim-rubbing problem).
The local bike shop (that doubles as a pet shop) employees are very friendly and manage to straighten out my rim, fix my brakes, and point me in the direction of more ibuprofen.
I also get to see my first tube explosion when the bike mechanic attempts to reinflate my tube with a compressor.
Afterward he makes a big deal about how he was giving me a free tube…after he destroyed mine…what?
I guess I must have missed something in there.
- START: Green Lake, Victoria
- END: Lochiel Rest Area, Victoria
- DAY’S DISTANCE: 34.1 mi / 54.8 km
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 248.22 mi / 399.4 km