There Was No Way It was Going to Happen To Me – Boy Was I Wrong!
The Day Started Off So Nicely
The weekend was finally here and I was off to do a bit of trail riding on some new trails that I recently heard about. I planned my route Friday night and also packed myself some high energy snacks (my famous trail mix concoction – the details of the mix is for another story though).
I was out of bed as soon as my alarm went off. I jumped into my cycling gear and quickly made myself some hot oats (figuring this would give me some sustained energy because I was going to need it).
Little did I know that my energy was going to be called on for something ENTIRELY different than what I had originally planned on using it for.
I Was Off and It Felt So Good!
I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Looking up into the cloudless blue sky where the only markings in it were from a jet liner streaming full bore ahead to some unknown destination. Whenever I see these jets, I always wonder where they are off to…….but I digress.
I could feel the sleep leaving my body and the oatmeal was starting to do its job. I felt I could bike all day (although I wasn’t going to be given that chance).
The Trailhead Approaches
My journey from home to the start of the trails only took me 30 minutes (I must have been flying because typically it is a 40 minute ride). Before hitting the trails, I stopped to do a quick inventory of items that I figured I needed to have with me.
Snacks (check!), water (check!), mini pump (check!), spare inner tube (check!), tire levers (never used them before but check!). I was good to go!
Did I really need to carry my pump and inner tube with me? To be honest I have never had to use them and have never needed to change out my inner tubes because of a flat tire while on the road. Today would change all that.
The Trails Were As Good As I Figured They Would Be
Let’s just say that I lost all track of time. You know you are doing something you love when time becomes irrelevant to you. Today was just one of those days.
The trail was in fairly good shape given all the recent rain we had experienced, but yes there were still some pretty good muddy sections. Looking down at my legs, I was starting to look like I was at some spa for one of those mud bath treatments.
I stopped for a quick snack and noticed my trail mix was starting to get a bit low which told me only one thing; that I had better start thinking about turning back. I hate this part of the day because everything just felt right! I was feeling at one with my bike and I was moving. I didn’t want to stop!
And Then It Happened
I went flying around a blind corner on the trail when all of a sudden the trail went from mud to rock. Not nice smooth rock, but sharp pebbly rock. This didn’t look good and in a minute or so I was going to find out that it wasn’t good.
All I heard was a small pop and then my peddling seemed to get a bit mushy. It was such a weird feeling. I was peddling but for some reason, my power was not transferring down to my wheels. It only took one quick look to see what my problem was. I had finally experienced my first flat tire.
No big deal right?
Well it shouldn’t have been a big deal but it turned out to be my nightmare!
I thought to myself as I stopped and got off my bike “Well Bud, you are about to take on your first flat tire”.
This shouldn’t be a big deal I thought “I had a new inner tube, a pump and some levers and my tire looked ok”. I got down to work.
First things first, I needed to get my front tire off my bike (I knew that much) – Done
Next I needed to get my tire off the rim and this is where it got interesting. I tried using just my hands and fingers but there was no way that was happening. I just couldn’t get the initial tire bead away from the rim. I had to resort to my tire levers.
Tire Levers Work (Only When Used Properly Though)
Never having used them, I had to take a close look at their shape to figure out which end I could use to “lever” my tire over the rim. I stuck the lever under the tire and heaved on it.
Hey, it worked!
My tire came over the side of the rim and as soon as that was done, the rest of the tire came right off.
With the tire now off, I removed my inner tube and took a look to see where my puncture had come from. I noticed it right away but then I also noticed another rip too (well away from the first puncture – “that’s weird” I thought). Could I have punctured in 2 places; probably not right?
So far, getting my tire off the rim had only taken me 15 minutes which I thought was pretty good for my first time. This tire changing process seemed to be no big deal after all.
I was Getting Too Confident!
Time to get my new inner tube installed. I inserted it into my tire (like I had been told) and started to put my tire back onto the rim. This process was starting to become harder than it had looked. My inner tube kept falling out of the tire as I wedged both it and the inner tube back onto the rim. It took awhile but I finally managed to get the tire and tube on about ¾ of the way using only my hands. This is when it just got too tight!
I guess it was time to put the levers to work again. I jammed the first lever under the tire and levered it upwards. I them jammed the other one in a bit further down and levered that section into place. I didn’t like putting that much pressure on the lever (and tire and tube) but what else could I do?
I finally got to the last section and with a bit of effort, managed to complete the tire re-install and get it back onto my rim. All that remained was for me to put my pump to use and get some air back into my tire.
This is where it went downhill really quickly!
I attached the pump and started to fill the tire with air. I pumped until the tire felt nice and solid and then disconnected the pump. As I was disconnecting it I heard it.
At first I thought I was hearing things but I wasn’t….it was exactly what I thought it probably was.
The air that I had just pumped back into my tire was leaving the tire just as quickly as I had pumped it in. It was now flat once again!
I was trying to figure out what had happened. I managed to get the tire back onto the rim and the inner tube was brand new. Weird!
I was stuck.
I didn’t have another tube and my front tire was flat as a pancake. All I could do now was start to push my bike home. That was all it took for me to make an oath to myself to never, ever let that situation happen to me again.
I took me 3 hours to walk home and what started out as great day turned into one of my worst!
I Needed to Know Why!
When I finally got back home I needed to find out for myself why my brand new tire went flat. Once I managed to get the tire and tube back off my rim, I took a look at my tube and found the puncture. It was more of a rip and looked eerily similar to the one on the tube that I had flatted with while on the trail.
Long story short, I deduced that when I was levering my tire back on, I had unfortunately punctured my tube in the process. It was at that moment that I went into the house and started my quest. I would not let this happen again!
My searching led me to many different videos on how to replace an inner tube but I’ll be honest, I was also a bit overwhelmed and I also wanted more!
What if it wasn’t a flat tire on the trail, but some other very fixable problem? I needed more and that’s what led me to finding the DIY Bike Repair Home Study Course.
DIY Bike Repairs
This was the type of information that I was looking for. The course is comprised of Ebooks, videos and of course email support from the owner.
This is why I am here today creating this site because I am trying to give back. This course has given me a whole new perspective on bike maintenance and repair! I don’t want you to have to experience what I went through!
You do not have to be a full fledged bike mechanic to get yourself out a “pickle” while out on the road or on the trails. This course gives you all the basics but also provides for more advanced learning as well.
I hope you never get put into a scenario like I did. Walking your bike Sucks!
I now know that because of the information that I learned (and I know you will too), that the odds have been greatly reduced that I will ever have to deal with that situation again.
Now I am able to do what I love best and that is to just ride my bike!
You owe it yourself to at least check this out!
I highly Suggest Checking This Course Out!
Don’t just take my word for it though; give the course a trial run.
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I am so glad that I did!
Ride Hard and Safely!