Today I finally changed the tire on my bicycle. You may recall, I got a flat coming home from my last class of the term. I got the bike home on the bus then and haven’t been able to use it to take advantage of Vancouver’s nice weather. So today when it was raining and I’m feeling a little sick, I got that fixed.
Now, I am not a handy man. I haven’t ever changed a tire on a car; I wouldn’t be able to build a fence (I mean I’d be able to build a terrible fence, or a fence from Lego, but a real life “keep the cows where they should be” fence? not gonna happen). But I have changed bike tires before.
Bicycles are the one area where I feel like I can handle the difficulties involved. They’re at a good scale of machinery, and each little bit you do doesn’t have to be replicated again and again. There are only two wheels. My bike only has one brake (and no gears). I can see what everything needs to do and understand the physics involved.
My big problem going into this tire change (the first on my favourite bike I’ve owned) was a lack of tools. I had an allen key multitool thing that had a makeshift wrench for dealing with my brakes (which I’ve used before) but I discovered when I went downstairs, new bike tube in hand, that I had no wrench to get my tire off the frame.
This is the problem of living with other people and being able to scavenge what I need off of them. My roommate does not have a wrench set (and since I don’t have even one wrench I don’t even get the satisfaction of saying “How can you not have wrenches?” like I’m sure many of my friends are thinking right now). I had to go out and find a wrench. When I got to Sears I realized I had no idea what size the nut on my wheel was. I’d just wanted a small adjustable crescent wrench, but those only came in gigantic sets. So I went off to find a bike shop.
At the first bike shop they had a very cool wrench that had a bottle opener on the other side, but $30 was just too much. Eventually I found a double headed wrench that I figured one of the heads would be about the right size…
Oh man. I’m sorry. this is terribly boring. My mom is back from France now, so I feel like I should keep people up to date with the minutiae of my days a bit better.
Anyway. I fixed my bike! And I like my little handful of tools in the picture above. That’s what I’ve got for you today. I’m presenting a paper at a children’s literature conference this weekend and blogged the North Shore Writers Festival last weekend. And I’m checking in on and feeding Jamie’s cat while he’s at Ebertfest. That all would have been much more exciting to write about.