Bike Karma

After how many years of off and on bike commuting, I’ve suddenly had a spate of seriously bad bike karma. Ok, not accident-bad, but certainly “this sucks” bad.

I bought a fixer-upper Mixte to ride to SSU starting this fall, and have been working on it a bit this summer, getting it ready. I’ve been riding to my job at the fairgrounds, to give it a chance to show me where it needs attention. So far, I’ve had to get three rides home because of it. That’s a record, considering how I’ve never needed a ride home before. Until now, my commuting bike has been an older rockhopper mountain bike with knobby tires. It’s a great bike, and hasn’t given me any trouble. But it’s heavy, and the knobby tires make it slow. It hasn’t really been a problem since I’ve only used it for commutes less than 5 miles, but SSU is a good deal farther than that. So I wanted something with narrower tires, and room for a rack. And, frankly, I wanted something a bit more sexy.

Finding the bike was easy. And, for the most part, fixing it has been easy too. But it sure has been giving me lots of things to fix.

First, it was a weird thing with the rear wheel being loose and getting jammed crooked, so that the tire was wedged against the chainstay. Since it doesn’t have a quick release on the rear wheel, and because I haven’t built my flat kit (including a wrench) for this bike yet, I had to call for a ride home. Not only was it not rideable, it was barely pushable.

Then, not even a week later, as I was riding to work, I just happened to look down to try and figure out why my foot felt crooked in my pedal cage. Oh, only because my pedal was half way stripped out. I had to jump on a bus to make it to work that day, and then I had to call for a ride home.

Friday of last week, I had a blow-out (like the loud, make people dive under desks kind) while my Motobecane bike was parked outside my office. Thankfully it didn’t happen when I was ON the bike riding. But, alas, it required a pick-up to get home that night. Boo.

The next morning, Saturday, I went to get on my trusty old rockhopper, which I’ve ridden for years without having to change the tubes (important plot hint), and the rear wheel was completely flat! Being in a hurry, I tried just pumping it back up to see if it would hold air. It did. So I rode it to work. When I left that night, it was still pretty solid, so I felt OK to ride.

Yesterday morning, I thought, It’s Sunday, if I can make it to work and back today, then I can change my tire tomorrow on my day off. So I pumped it up again and rode in. Sadly, when it came time to ride home again, it was flat. *sadtrombone*

This morning, I was asked to go in even though I was supposed to be off. So I went out to the garage to get the wheel off my Motobecane to change it. Uhoh. Seems the tube I bought was too narrow. Grrr.

So, I went out and fought with the rockhopper to get the rear wheel off and change it. OH WHAT?! The only tube we have for it has the wrong valve. Are you serious? Yes.

So… after a minute or two of panicked pacing and a phone call to , I said just screw it and rode my racing bike in to work. On the way home, I stopped by the bike shop to buy two tubes for each bike with the correct size and valve.

As turns out, I learned why my tire blew on my Moto… you can’t ride with clincher tires on sew-up wheels. Who knew? :headdesk:

Looks like I’m going to have to buy new rims too.

I guess the good news is that I’m learning how to do all these repairs myself. But seriously? I had kinda hoped to ride that bike more than three times in a row without having to bench it again.


One thought on “Bike Karma

  1. Ugh. Well, here’s hoping that you’re getting all of this out of the way now, and will be on the road to trouble free riding soon. And the moto had sew-ups?? Wow, crazy.


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