"Do unto others..."
"What goes around, comes around..."
"Karma: It can bite you on the..."
I did finally get the tires on the bike swapped. I also came to the realization that I need to re-build my ATB...NOW!
I rode to work yesterday and picked up a small clump of something on Annacis Island. After listening to it go "thwip, thwip, thwip" past the front fender for about ten minutes; it dawned on me that if this were only a wet leaf stuck to the front tire, it ought to have fallen off by now. With a sinking feeling, I pulled over to the curb on Greybar road and pulled off a small lump of mud with a bunch of twigs 'n thorns (and a leaf for decoration) sticking out of it. "Mother Nature's Caltrop" is how I would describe it; since one of the protruding bits had actually intruded on my front tire.
I watched the sealant ooze out of the puncture, and stop a few seconds later. The tire was still at ride-able pressure, so ride on it I did. Passed by a poor soul trudging eastward on Westminster Hwy, and noted that his rear wheel had flatted. I called out; "Tire sealant, dude! Live by it!!". I was just feeling so pleased with myself at that moment, I couldn't help it. Got to work on time, and regaled Mike L with the tale. I admit, I was feeling a little smug.
On the ride home, I picked up a goatweed thorn on the rear tire. (Goatweed: thistle with fibre-tailed thorns). Unlike most punctures I've picked up over the last 11 months, this one went in on a tangent, and promptly buried itself under the tread of the rear tire. It flatted out just as I reached the top of the Nordel hill. There was a LOT of sealant leaking out, but the hole was too big for the sealant to plug right away. That, plus the thorn itself was holding the hole open and I couldn't remove it! I pumped up the tire with my mini-pump, while rotating the tire to ensure that the sealant was over top of where the leak was. After ten minutes of pumping the tire, and waiting for the sealant to stop flowing; I left it and rode the rest of the way up Nordel. The tire lasted until I got onto 84th, about 4 blocks from home. By this time, I was running a little behind; I HAD to get the kids to their ice-skating lessons by 4:45, and my usual arrival time is between 4:oo and 4:30. I was cutting it close, so the time had come for a crisis decision: I jogged with the bike for the remaining 4 blocks to home. I got there at 4:38, and breathlessly opened the front door and barked; "Everybody into the car, NOW!".
We made it on time. Laurie was grateful. L's right knee is 'out of action' at the moment and she is not really 'up' for excursions with the kids. Coral has been helping out in the mornings and I have been picking up a little slack, as well (which reminds me: I have to go clean the kitchen after I finish here).
The rear wheel is now wearing the former front tire. There are at least two punctures in it that I know of, both sealed, and it holds pressure pretty well. While removing the old rear tire, I pulled a startling assortment of thorns, slivers, glass bits and metal shards out of the tire. I scrapped the tube. The tire may serve as an emergency spare; it is well worn, but intact. I hauled out my spare tube, and the old 'Vee Rubber' tire that used to be on the front; before I got the Panaracer tires last Xmas. The spare tube...had a HOLE in the valve stem!! A massive leak that only showed up after the tire was mounted on the wheel. Sigh.
I hauled out another serviceable tube, and after 'clearing' debris from the Vee tire (I forgot, the first time 'round), mounted it on the rim, and shot another 4 oz of sealant into the mounted tube. Best way to check for stuff embedded on the interior wall of a tire: run a sizeable wad of cotton batting around the inside. The cotton fibres will 'catch' on even the smallest shard and show you immediately where it is; making it easy to remove. The odds are 50-50 that there is something embedded in the average bicycle tire that hasn't caused a puncture - yet. This is why some riders will fix a flat, and remove what caused it, only to find the tire develops another hole after re-mounting even though they haven't yet resumed riding! Always check the tire interior for debris.
Boy, am I focussed on cycling, or what?
These exercises in High Pressure Containment have shown me one thing: the amount of CRAP on the roads here, coupled with the less-than-robust tread thickness on the roadie's tires, means I will need to switch to riding an ATB. Only problem is: I don't have an ATB right now...
I still haven't finished re-building Black Beauty.
My Father-in-Law Bob has donated another two bicycle corpses. I am going to build one into a suitable ride (complete with fenders!), and turn the other one over for profit...if I can. The extra ca$h will go into buying L's Xmas present; assuming I can't get an Ipod by signing up five friends for some REALLY GREAT ONLINE OFFERS!!!!
Nah, I don't know anyone I would want to inflict that on...
Speaking of inflicting myself: My Elder's Quorum lesson went rather well; I could have used more rehearsal, but I actually prepared more material than the time allowed. I could tell Bro. Quarento wanted to discuss things in more detail, but time was limited. As I have been made his Home Teacher (along with Brother-in-Law, Grant), we may have opportunity to re-visit the discussion.
I have no callings at church at present. I know they WANT to call me, but so far my schedule (L's schedule) doesn't allow any weekday night activities, and I don't feel comfortable teaching younger kids in Primary. Maybe they'll make me Elder's Quorum instructor...
My BoM reading is going well. I should be finished the book by the end of this month, ahead of Pres. Hinckley's challenge.
I've had a lot of anger lately. One of the reasons I was away from church "for a month of Sundays", is because I as going through a 'bad patch' and I needed the Lord's help to sort it out.
I'm mostly focussed on myself and my own problems right now (gee, what was my first clue?), and I just needed to "look up, and calm down". I need to stir around a little more; find some ways to help others for a change. I will have ample opportunity next month to serve my FAMILY...I already have the job jar all set up and by the end of my two week vacation I will have started and mostly completed:
-fixing the car
-cleaning the garage
-cleaning the yard and deck
-fixing the garage door
-hauling all our trash to the dump
(which I may have to do AGAIN after Xmas)
In addition to the above, I also have to find time to:
-re-build my ATB (I already mentioned it, I know!!)
-complete the upgrade on this computer.
BOY -- think of the sense of accomplishment if I actually get all that done.
Speaking of getting it done...
Colin is going out this week for more testing and prodding. He's having an ultrasound to test for urinary dysfunction. He's a bit of a bedwetter, and although we manage with plastic covers and a nightly 11PM "potty call", he still manages to go through a complete change of bedding every week.
Both Coral and Colin are doing better in school. Coral's reading level is within 80% of her grade, and she should be caught up by the end of the year. Colin has a full-time TA to help keep him focussed in class. I think Colin has been ruined by Video Games. He's all focus and NO attention span. If it ain't over in one 5 minute level, he's not interested.
Coral herself will be heading out to the UBC Dental Medicine Centre for another adjustment to her braces. L managed to get her enrolled in a Study the university is conducting on new Orthodontic procedures. We are saving SO much money on these braces. Between our medical coverage, and subsidies from the University, we have paid about 300$ for 3000$ worth of top-notch orthodontic work. I wish I could afford this kind of care for my OWN teeth.
Coral has started Square and Round dancing again. Bob is retired now and so spends more time working for (and with) the club. Apparently, his recent recruiting efforts have paid off; enrollment in the club is up this year after a mild slump the previous two years.