Friday, September 30, 2011
I'm back ... with a mystery ...
Yes, it's been a very ... VERY long time. Indeed. I didn't get hit by a speeding mountain biker ... nor did I accidentally ride into the ocean and drown. I simply lost far too many time battles with everyday life and neglected to make time for writing. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, over a year passes by. I have been encouraged, however, to return to this here blogular postification and ... um ... postify. So here I is ... am ... are.
And we begin with a mystery ... not of the who-dunnit murder variety ... not of the why-does-my-shopping-cart-always-have-one-wheel-that-skips variety ... not even of the classic why-does-everything-have-to-be-so-complicated variety. No, this is truly mind-boggling.
I prepared for my ride today by putting shoes on, grabbing my sunglasses and helmet, and going out to the garage to top off the air in my tires. I top them off once a week for good measure ... big fat 2" tires only need minor air maintenance, which helps me to prevent any unnecessary overuse injury from pumping everyday. I start with the front tire, which only needs a few PSI's (not to be confused with CSI's, which is en-TIRE-ly different). PSI's is a technical term that means Pounds per Square Inch, which seems very odd to me, since tires aren't actually square at all ... they wouldn't roll very well if they were. The European-type people use a different term, called BAR. This makes more sense to me, as the BAR number could be an indication of the number of drinks you'll want after pumping your tires to that pressure ... that's assuming, of course, that you're filling your tires in order to ride to the BAR.
ANYWAY ... the front tire got it's necessary PSI/BAR inflationary requirement. When I then move to the rear tire, I find it to be mysteriously void of air. FLAT, you might say. I inspected the outside of the tire for some kind of puncture-related object and found nothing. I removed the wheel, took of the tire and tube, looked inside the tire for a bit of something that might have gotten lodged inside. Again ... nothing. I looked the tube over for a puncture ... nothing. I filled it with air and put it under water ... no bubbles. It appeared to be fine and holding air. I inspected the rim for any sharp edges or frayed rim strip ... nada. And yet, just five minutes ago the tube was completely flat. It's a mystery.
Normally, I like the challenge of solving a mystery like this ... but today I just wanted to go for a ride, since I've been so busy lately that riding has been severely limited. So, to be safe, I put a new tube in, remounted the tire, filled it with fresh air from my PSI/BAR manufacturing device, put the wheel back on, and went for a ride. During the ride, the mystery continued to haunt me, as there seemed no good reason for this. But then I saw a hummingbird when I stopped to look at the ocean, and all was good again. I'm chalking this one up to simply being an old tube. I've had these tubes and tires on the bike for over a year and a half with no flats, so perhaps it was just time to replace it.
So there you have it ... today's mystery. Anyone have an answer?
I'll make an effort to write more ... with pretty pictures and stuff, too. There's a new bike in the works. It has a woolly mammoth on the headbadge ... and the name reminds me of an Elvis song. More soon ...