Flat Repair, Important Point

Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
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Trip End Dec 01, 2007


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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, October 7, 2007

A quick point about repairing any flat tire. If you do not see an obvious protrusion, such as a nail, that does not mean that whatever popped the tired is not still in there. Although I didn't see a nail, I noted that for a couple days the tie was not as firm as the bike tires. I have seen this before and that can mean that there is a small protrusion, causing a small leak, is there but the lower pressure is keeping it from going flat. In this case, I knew that the inner tube contained the green slime that is supposed to assist. My opinion is mixed now as maybe there is a small benefit, other than a sticky green mess.
Yesterday, When I stopped, I should have remembered all of this and it was just fortunate that I stopped and noticed that it was completely flat.
When I was inspecting the inside of the tire, I knew that there was probably something in there large enough to pop the tire but small enough that it could be missed, and that to merely patch the tire and put it back on would result in another flat. I took my time and after I removed all of the green gunk that I had removed with an old motel towel that was given to me, I found the culprit, a small metal sliver that had protruded through the thickest part of the tread. It was necessary to take my handy , "multi-tool," that I never leave home without (thanks to watching Survivorman) and pulling the sliver out with the needle-nose portion.
Some say that if a tube has "slime" added, that it cannot be patched. That is not necessarily true, as the slime can assist on actually point pointing the hole if it is a "pi hole," and you can mark the spot really easy without the whole, "dunk-under-water" hassle.
After the spot is marked with a good pen, the air needs to be completely removed and the slime has to be completely removed with some kind of slime removing cleaner, like rubbing alcohol or something similar. this really takes off all of the oily slime and make for a clean spot to sand and patch as usual. By removing all of the air, the slime also stops oozing out recontaminating the area. That is simple enough, right?
As to inspecting your equipment, even if everything is new and of good quality, it is a good idea to inspect the welds for time to time, as enormous amounts of stress are placed on the seams. I learned this the hard way once, back in 2002, when I was restoring a Sailboat and I was using my bike for exercising, as well as picking up parts at the marine stores in San Pedro, Ca. I was so busy working on the boat, I didn't pay attention to the bike, and on one extremely cold morning, as I was riding up to 6th St., to get my daily coffee and cinnamon roll (I really recommend a Coffee shop in San Pedro called "Sacred Grounds," they serve a wide assortment of good coffee, lots of food and usually have something going on such as poetry readings or good music.) The band Dishwalla, popular for the song "Counting Blue Cars," or something like that frequents the place and plays there a lot. I think they have moved from their original location on 6th, which is the main drag, but I hear they are close and better, if that is possible. The 6th street area is "Alternate Living" friendly, and although it is an LAPD area, and I do not really have much respect for the "New Breed" of officer, hired with lower, "minimum Standard, in which I m really familiar. The typically younger coppers that patrol there seem pretty wrapped-up with, "Chasing -the -Radio," and for the most part when I saw them, they were driving around eith their windows up, generally paying no attention to the surrounding area. This is pretty typical of LAPD as they are really understaffed and the new, "minimum standards," are really a lowering of standards and even when I was there I found most, not all, "un-sat," a term used to describe the obvious. This has changed the method of application of Police Work.
Long paragraph and I will try to get the new address of Sacred Grounds and give you a contact name of the owner, who is a nice guy when you get to know him. Granted, my first contacts of the staff was me or a rapidly "salt-deteriorating" bicycle, in dirty work clothes, pushing my own deadline of repairs and at the times when I stopped to eat, I would generally be stuffing something simple into my face, obsessed with getting back to my boat and basically starving myself. This was a mistake, as the rapid weight loss caused my Gallbladder to eject a large stone into the duct?, after a large fatty meal of steak. The steak was brought down to the boat by my son Chris, who was accompanied by his Girlfriend of the week and we grilled the steaks on the rail of my boat on a real cool cooker, attached to the railing.
The accident I was trying to get to, occurred because I was not inspecting the welds, and the set post snapped, backwards, as I was luckily riding on flat ground, going relatively slowly. What I remember is riding then suddenly I was on the ground in extreme pain from my crotch to my knees. I noticed that my whole weight had been slammed into the rear tire, causing it to buckle completely. What saved me from further, really life threatening injury was that I was wearing 2 pair of jeans over sweat pants and that took some of the shock. I remember walking around trying to shake it off and I used my knife to cut off my clothing to determine if I was bleeding and i needed to get help. Luckily, there was no broken skin and the injury, which I incurred was restricted to the small area that hit the bike tire. I am not saying that I was not hurt badly, and I was concerned about internal bleeding, but I was able to walk to Sacred Grounds, hide the fact that I had cut the inner seam out and waited for the pain to subside. After a while, I realized that I was probably not bleeding internally at a dangerous rate, (self triage is important to learn) so I jst waited it out and made sure that I showed no signs of major injury, such as increasing blurred vision, dizziness or other signs that I needed help. The end result that I received a bruise that continued down to the back of my knees, and it took nearly six months to feel completely back to normal in all areas. (A bit of clinical reflexion), sorry Paige. But, I know that I caused major trauma to my prostate, and it evenually healed with no complications.
That is it for this morning. I really feel I need a few days to completely heal, as my right shoulder, (where I had a major surgery in 1987), is really sore and I am typing exclusively with my left hand, my triceps are sore as well as my neck and tail bone. I need to rethink my Saddle and the height of my seat, it may just be a matter of raising it a bit, but I am close to the end of the stem right now, and the little "plunger-type," supposed shock absorber is pretty useless on a long ride. I will look up the new address of Sacred Grounds and pit it in later.
Thanks, Steve
PS Sacred Grounds is located at 468W. 6th st., San Pedro. Ca. (310)514-0800
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