Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beginners Page # 11 Carrying a Spare Tire

Prologue: The below was originally posted on the right side of the page--in the temporary ramblings section. However, it was suggested that part of the below is so dumb, it should be in the archives so that some other beginner possibly could learn from my many mistakes. And speaking of beginner, I was up to Beginners Page "10"--after stretching it some--and I thought that I had graduated to a higher level and could start on sophisticated topics. Self-grandeur and reality are two different things so on with the Beginners Pages. Recently I was complaining to Randy about all the mistakes I have made and keep on making new ones. He said it was just a learning curve. I think my curve that I am working on is as big as the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

"Carrying a Spare Tire"

On a routine bike check, I spotted a small cut in Christine's back tire. Getting ready for a Saturday group ride, we thought we would bring a spare tire along in case she blew the tire.

Ages ago, I had a blown out one of my tires that had more than 1,000 miles on it, so when I replaced the blown tire, I replaced the other tire as well. So I had a spare tire. It had received some use as I loaned it to Nancy when she blew a tire this summer and loaned it to another person when I blew out his tire putting air in it--but that is another story--point is that the spare we had wasn't brand new.

Now, we knew we had to get the tire small enough to fit into a saddle bag or jersey pocket as we had seen others do on some tours. The new tires we have bought always seemed to be inside out and folded in sections. So I tried to turn the tire inside out. Try as I might, I couldn't get it inside out, so I just folded it in half and then half again. The thing was really resistant, so I had Christine stand on it to squish it down while I put some plastic covered wire ties around it to hold it together. We thought that the tire was rigid from being cold as I had just brought it in from the garage.

Finally, we tied the tire together but it was too big to put in our jersey pocket, so we were hoping that Rick didn't have his "suitcase" full and could carry it for us.

We got to the staging site (Knickerbocker town) and asked Rick if he had room for the tire in his big carrying case. He said yes, and then Ty said he could carry it in his saddle bag. He took the tire from me and had a shocked look on his face. Rick was speechless. Ty asked if it was a wire rimmed tire--"Uh dunno." He informed me it was useless now as the wire would probable break when I unfolded it. Sure enough, it seemed to have a wire rim.

Ty gave me a class on what tires to use to carry them as a spare and how to fold them. What I heard was "Don't do this at home, let a professional do it for you".

So here are some lessons I learned:

You shouldn't bend a wire-rimmed tire.
If you have to bend a wire-rimmed tire, don't have someone stand on it.
You can't make a carry-along spare tire out of every extra tire you may have. Get a ready-made spare to carry around if that is what you want to do.
If you are having to force something, get a second opinion.

Examples of my lesson learned:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Light Tour

December 6, 2009

The weather for the ride was great in comparison with the Friday snow. And the turn-out was outstanding. It was reported that 59 riders participated in the event. There were additional people working behind the scenes to make the event a roaring success.

Christy Nesbitt of the San Angelo Bicycle Association worked for several months coordinating the event, and Jennifer Odom of the Concho Christmas Celebration worked long and hard coordinating and providing publicity. While I am thanking people, I also wish to express appreciation to:
San Angelo Police Department—donation of bicycles for kids to use.
Lee Pfluger—donation of money to repair the bicycles.
Randy Rangel—Randy’s Bike and Run donated time and expertise to repair the bikes and check for safety.
Safe Kids—donated helmets
Walmart—donated hot cider for after the event.
Chick-Fil-A—donated Christmas cookies for after the event.
John Woiten—AKA Santa
KLST—provided TV coverage.
Many thanks to the health businesses and clubs that displayed the event flyer and provided other support.

Thanks to all the participants helping to make the event a success. If anyone has been left out, please accept my apologies and THANKS.

To the right were some of the bikes that were available to anyone who needed a ride.

A big contributor to the event was Lee Pfluger who donated a lot of money to get the bikes in a safe working condition. And he brought the bikes out himself. Lee is the one on the left, below. The one on the right is an unnamed publicity hound basking in the lime light of famous people.

As advertised, Santa was going to be there. John Woiten, President of the San Angelo Bicycle Association volunteered to act as stand-in. John, DeAnna, and his helper did a good job decorating their bike to add to the Christmas cheer.

Thumbs up and the ride is ready to begin. Some of the participants:

Parts of the ride:

Last but certainly not least--the refreshments at the end and helpers.

It is hoped that the bicycle lights tour will be an annual event.