I rode my motorcycle into work today knowing I had a haircut appointment at lunch. It would be the fastest way to get there and back again. On the ride in, at a stop light, the guy in a truck next to me rolled down his window to ask about the bike. "What year is it?" 1975. "Wow, antique! Must have to put a lot of work into it". I do, it takes a lot of attention. "Well, looks great."
Lately, I thought to myself, it hasn't taken too much attention, it has just run. I felt good about that. Which is why, when I left work 15 minutes before my appointment, I was so dismayed to find the back tire completely flat. Bike-stand up, sit down and blah, a mushy, rim riding mess.
Time to make a decision; abandon the motocycle and steal one of the many orphan bicycles in the 6A office for 45 minutes? Or ride to the gas station and pump it with enough air to get where I'm going? I decided on the air, riding the sad, wobbly motocycle at 5mph to the nearest station.
With the back tire filled up, I rode carefully to the Lower Haight hoping the leak was slow enough to not require another fill on the way out. After my appointment I found the answer was no, the leak was not slow enough. It was eager, and wanted to show what it could do. So again, the tire was quite flat. There was another gas station about 8 blocks away, and again I rode the rims at 5mph to the get there.
Fill with air. This time I could just hear the leak over the loud hum of the station's air compressor. Not good, shouldn't be that loud. Stupid show off leak.
I figured I had just enough time to ride the bike to SF Moto where I had bought these tires earlier in the summer. Likely I could get them to plug the hole for free. Hop on. Push the starter; whum whum whuuuu. Out. Of. Juice.
So now, mysteriously, my battery is completely dead, my tire is quickly losing its shape and I'm halfway across the city from home. If I could just get it to the shop! So I put it in gear, hold the clutch, push push push! Pop the clutch out, baRUUuumm; started.
Riding carefully towards downtown, I know if the last of the air leaves the tires it will probably drop the bike about 2 inches rather quickly. Not good for stability on two wheels. Of course the best, fastest way back is via two major roads. I take them, keep minimum speed and manage to get downtown without any major incident.
Finally, I roll up to SF Moto. It is shuttered. Gates over windows, garage door shut, closed on Mondays. Closed on Mondays?! What's going on here? I keep rolling; need to at least get it home.
Luckily I roll into my driveway as the last of the air leaves the tire. I have to charge the battery and get some puncture goop to spray into the tire so it will make it to the shop tomorrow. However, after this is fixed up, I think everything will be juuuust fine. It just takes a lot of attention.