We currently have 6 bikes.  And one bike trailer.  That makes 14 tires.  Now.  Ask me how many of those tires are flat?  No.  Don’t ask.  Because if you do, I will get irritated.  Not at you of course.  Just at the tires.  For every tire that gets fixed, another one gets a flat.  It is almost as bad as the laundry.  Or the dishes.  Of course nothing is that bad.  I said almost.

Our 9-year-old son had a scout bike ride a couple of weeks ago.  I tried to buy a new tube at the local 2 story gigantic sporting goods store.  They had every size imaginable.  Except the 20 inch one.  That is the one I needed. Naturally.

The day of the bike ride arrived.  I got kids and husband off to school.  I got the baby and half-day kindergartener and flat tire into the car.  I got to the really expensive bike store that specializes in making me feel like an idiot for allowing our children to ride Target bikes.  So not cool.  Me and the bikes.

I get the kids and the tire into the store.  I am quickly up-sold.  I need a 5 dollar tube.  I buy a 10 dollar heavy-duty tube with slime and pay the professional to put it on the rim. 20 dollars plus tax.   After the kids have touched literally everything in that store and pleaded quite loudly for most of it, we left.  I half carried/half lugged the two-year-old to the car while carrying the tire and trying desperately to keep the 5-year-old from being hit or setting someone’s car alarm off.  Can’t there just be a parking lot for people who drive crappy cars and have little kids?  Then I wouldn’t feel like such a dork and our kids already know what to do when passing by a 1989 Tempo.  We haven’t gotten the proper passing technique down for the 50 thousand dollar Beemer.  Bimmer if you want to be really technical.  Look that up if you aren’t up on your BMW nicknames.

I get home and start learning how to put a bike tire back on a bike.  I have to let out all the air.  I get sprayed with bright green 5 dollar slime.  I squeeze the tire between the brake thingys and finally get the tire pumped back up.  I load the bike into the back of the car.  It isn’t easy.  We get to the bike ride meeting place with the scout, the bike, and even the bike helmet (courtesy of Kristen…….after years of compelling testimony I finally gave in to the necessity of the bike helmet and actually gave up my mother’s day gift for the cause).  We yank the bike out of the car and the bike won’t roll.  Why is this you ask?  Oh, I put so much air in the stupid tire that it was exploding out of the rim and keeping it from turning between those fabulous brakes I wrestled with earlier.  After a final match and some more green slime spray we got the tire back into the rim and our boy set off on his bike ride with an almost flat tire.  Weird.  That is what he had before the trip to the super expensive bike store.  Yeah.

Now.  Ask me again how many of those 14 tires are flat.  But be careful.  I know where most of you live.

Photo Credit


~ by pandmcox on March 20, 2010.

15 Responses to “Flat”

  1. What a pain! I just love bike rides because my kids always manage to find a patch of sticker weeds and I don’t realize it until the next time we are going on a bike ride. Fun times.

  2. Probably as many as we have. Flat tires. You’re right! It’s just like laundry around here. Someone’s always looking for clean underwear…….somebody’s always gotta flat.

    You do have such a BRILLIANT way of writing this all out though. Gosh I could just feel your frustration.

  3. I’m sorry…I’m laughing and I probably shouldn’t be. I’m laughing with you, though…not at you.

    Poor Misty. I’m exhausted and frustrated just reading this. On the bright side, you have educated me on what it takes to change a bike tire.


  4. I hear ya sister. I hear ya.

    I feel for you too. We fixed flats for our Den meeting a couple of weeks ago. One bike was so complicated we sent it home and said it looked “like a father & son project”- meaning we just can’t figure it out. Funny thing is they couldn’t either and ended up taking it to the expensive bike shop. I’m sure his mother was cursing us scout leaders too.
    The bad news is Dallin’s bike is just like it. So it looks like I will have my own expensive bike shop trip in the future. Yipee!

    • Thanks Nat….Paul just told me yesterday that if we had good bikes from a “real” bike shop we would have these problems….hmmmmm. What does THAT mean??? 🙂

      • rob is awesome at fixing bikes…if he ever has the time to do it…Christopher’s are flat right now too

  5. Aargh! Bikes. Flats. Bike stores. Thanks for the painful reminder.

  6. We bought a compressor. A really big home compressor. Does that tell you anything? And YAY!! Helmets!! It was one of my proudest days!! But I am struck sad. The next time I see your kids, they’re going to be so different, so grown up. Sitting on the floor, face in hands.

    • Nice. I won’t tell Paul you said that. He was at the store just the other day trying to buy a compressor. I asked him what he needed one of those for. He said bike tires. I said a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. not.
      I think of you each and every time I say, “Hey, you, one of my kids….get that helmet on!!!”

  7. Wow – sounds… fun! (not!) I can relate! (darn!!)

    We used to own a bike store. My husband hated working on bikes so much that he hired a mechanic (that’s it – no accountant, just a contracted out bike mechanic; yes, I did the books 🙂

    We still have some really cool bikes that we got wholesale when we were dealers… but unfortunately – they all need work. Imagine the price we will have to pay if we don’t have some kind of “father-son” or “individual” mechanic work going on around here? I MISS BIKING! I guess it’s time for me to learn to be a bike mechanic! 🙂

    • oh….man. i want the good bikes at the wholesale price. and a bike mechanic would be nice…i love that idea. just give him a call and all the bikes in the garage just….WORK!! beeee-ute-ifull!

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