Friday, January 17, 2014

The pump would bite you in the winter

Yesterday I commuted by bicycle, even though the temperature was at -14 °C when I left for work in the morning. And it was -13 °C when I rode the bicycle back home.

However, there was a puncture in the front inner tube, allowing the air escape during the day. I pumped the tire full, and rode some distance, pumped again, rode some distance, etc. The hole wasn't a big one, as it took 10-15 minutes for the tire to get too soft for riding, provided I pumped up the tire as hard as I could with the hand pump.

In all I pumped up the tire five times during the way home, and the commute back home took 1 hour 10 minutes which is 15 minutes more than usually.

At home, late in the evening, after taking care of some more urgent matters first, I looked at the tire. It turned out that the inner tube hadn't been installed properly, it was all twisted and even layered double in two places. No wonder there was a puncture, and it is in fact surprising the tube lasted this long, all the way from end of November last year when I had the front wheel replaced with a new one, and the installation done at the bike repair shop. In fact, I hadn't even pumped up the tire before this, as the air pressure kept perfectly.

Well, I didn't have a replacement inner tube at home, and my puncture repair kit was also missing glue, so now I'm not able to commute by bicycle. And I'm not really keen on riding the bicycle either right now. I think I'll go for a long walk on a swamp during the weekend.

Here are three photographs showing the change in how the city looks like, the two first ones were taken on January 7th, and the last one on January 13th.

(Posting title is from the poem The Pump by Frank Stanford.)

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