Bwanggg! Compressed air and fresh tire destroys metal rim, pictures to prove it

Rim of busted wheel

Side of rim on busted wheel

Rim of busted wheel

Rim of busted wheel

I know my current audience for bike-related news and tidbits is just
about zero, but bear with me here: last night while mounting a new
tire I blew out my old and broken-down wheel’s rim. This has never
happened before to me. Pictures above. 

More embarrassing perhaps was that I was on the phone at the time,
with a relative. 

Or is it more embarrassing that for the first time in five years (at
least) I have a bike-repair problem that has made the bike completely
unrideable? When I started riding, this would happen all the time, but
lately I’ve been able to ride to the shop for repairs, even the last
time the frame was cracked; I noticed the swaying motion and rode down
to the shop to mount the wheels and parts onto a new frame. So no loss
in ride time. 

Earlier in the weekend I had swapped out the front wheel for a new
one; the old wheel had been visibly worn down around the outside of
the rim where the brakes land. I hadn’t noticed it so much on the rear
wheel, but I guess that one was about ready to go as well. The tire
had a large rent on the side, which had caused a puncture over the
weekend. Yesterday morning I had mitigated that problem by putting a
boot into the tire (nice piece of thick cotton fabric) to keep the
tube from exploding out the hole in the tire. It was OK except for a
rattle where the extra-fat part, with the boot, scraped the fender on
every revolution. 

The only saving grace is that of all possible days to take transit to
work, today is perhaps the best possible one; the Michael Jackson
memorial events will occlude my favorite parking spot during the day
today (Tuesday). Last week I was able to move my bike just before
folks started filing into the corral that included the parking meter
where I’d locked up the pony. Some lowlife, however, stole my bungee
cord from off the luggage rack at the second-choice parking spot.