I fixed another rear-wheel flat this afternoon. This one was a good-sized tear right by the valve, forcing the issue of whether to patch the tube or to replace it. So I duped my buddy Tom into helping me with the chain tension by first listening to him tell me about his Ancient Order of Hibernians chapter and then telling him about this cylinder recording of Edward Meeker singing ‘The A.O.H’s. [sic] of theU.S.A.’ from 1915.
It was a little tricky because the new tube had a shorter valve stem than the punctured tube, and its business end was just peeking out of the tube, not far enough to attach the pump. So I remembered a trick I’d used before and pulled out the Schraeder adapter, which was able to screw onto the end of the valve and allow me to fill the tube with air anyway.
The funny thing is that I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering if there was some kind of bad mojo that had caused my flat. I keep having to remind myself, “There’s plenty of air in the tube. I could hit a shard of glass or a staple any time. I had enough air in there for a week, so it’s not like there was some kind of slow leak. It’s a tear in the tube and there’s nothing I can do about it.”