I now know how to patch and change a tire. But don’t ask me to do it again.

Last night I was on my way to yoga, I was feeling good, I had gone to the dentist (no cavities!), and all my gym clothes were CLEAN! And I was biking over to the studio and hit a rough patch of street where some construction is happening. It was just after 6pm so stores were closed and I didn’t have my bus pass. *ominous sounds*

So instead of having my bike fixed, I called a friend who said he was unavailable to help. I bought a patch kit and fixed my puncture by myself. Mostly…

First of all: yoga class started at 6:30, I got the puncture around 6:10 and I only got out of the store at 6:25. They do not accept latecomers, so that was a wash. Here is a timeline of what happened next.

6:40 Arrived home after walking my poor bike to the house
6:55 Finished watching a series of instructional videos on how to 1) remove one’s tire from their bike, 2) fix a puncture with a patch kit.
7:00 Accumulated the following supplies: 1) latex gloves because I am a priss, 2) the bike patch kit, 3) a rag, 4) several wrenches, none of which worked on loosening the bolts on either side of my wheel.
7:10 Went upstairs (was working in the garage) to ask the building’s maintenance coordinator whether he had a wrench I could borrow.
7:20 Received said wrench. He also insisted on loosening the bolts for me so I wouldn’t strip them.
7:25 Managed to pull the tire and the tube off.
7:35 Cannot find the hissing noise and run off to find a bucket to submerge my tube.
7:40 Found the puncture! There are two in one small area. No wonder it ran out of air so fast!
7:41 Have sanded the area and applied rubber cement. Hang out for 5 minutes as the video instructed and don’t drink any water yet even though I am so thirsty.
7:46 Apply the patch! I think the hardest part is over but am just kidding myself.
7:52 Insert the tube into the tire. Semi-inflate it and realize that is a bad idea. Do not realize that I should just press on the air valve to let some air out.
8:10 Finally get the tire on the wheel. I am sweating so profusely that my gloves are wet on the inside. I am still so thirsty.
8:35 Struggle for a while to get the wheel back on the base so I can just tighten everything and be on my way. No such luck.
8:42 Decide that I will just head upstairs for a glass of water and wait for my friend to come home.
8:43 Run into the maintenance coordinator again (Concierge? Building manager? He is a nice gentleman who manages renovations and repairs…) He comes downstairs with me again.
8:45 He realizes that these is only one particular angle where the wheels will enter the hub. We rotate the screws several times and eventually get it to fit in!
8:48 I think everything is in good shape, pump the tire and ride it for a moment. It turns out the tire is not on the wheel correctly. I take out the air again 😦
8:53 My mom is worried and comes down to check on me.
8:55 My new friend has no tool for this tire, but comes back with a wide screwdriver. He adjusts the tire so that it is now properly on the wheel.
9:00 I pump that tire back up. It’s over!
9:02 Stumble back into my apartment and wash up.
9:05 Pour myself a drink and consider that $15 to take it to the shop to be repaired is #$%&ing worth it.

So I know how to do this. But I never want to do it again.

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