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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Of Mice and Money

Strangest thing today. I went out to take the back wheel off the bike to remove the tire and check for defects and erosion on the rim. I had moved the bike to the back of the driveway, next to the garage that I have no access to. Moving around and dawdling, I look down and see a dead mouse and a dollar bill, right next to each other.

The rear tire has been leaking slowly for quite some time, a little bit before I put it to rest in December (2007). I decided I didn't want to keep checking it and pumping more air in it, especially since I'd be mostly using it starting at about 6:45am to head to school, after which it would likely have fallen from the 41 psi or so to about 25 psi. Not so good. Not so safe, and certainly not fuel efficient. So I was going to follow the advice of fellow VF500F owners and check to see if there was erosion on the rim where the bead seats. Well, as almost always is the case, working on the bike rarely goes smoothly and timely. So much for going for the bike ride I wanted to go on.
For crying out loud!

It took me about two hours to get the tire OFF the rim. What a pain in the ass that was. Nothing new, but I think I always forget how much a PITA is will be - "oh, it'll only take a few minutes". Stupid.

I get it off finally and sand around the bead area clean up the rim and check the tire for holes or cracks. After some more struggle, I get the tire back on the rim. If you've never changed a tire (not wheel) you might not know that it's not easy to do by hand - using tire irons - versus what an equipped shop would have for this very job.
I crank on the compressor and ready for the seating. It NEVER goes easy. I usually have to bounce the wheel around like a basketball to get the beads to at least move close enough to the seat area such that when I pump in the air, it actually pumps up the tire and doesn't just blow air out the openings.
Well, it didn't go well. It's only a 125 psi compressor, which would be more than fine if the bead set quicker, but noooooooo, never.
As I'm sitting there in the tiny little space at our front entry which doubles as a workshop, yelling and swearing at my wheel and my bad luck, I see something shiny.
There it is. There was some metal thing sticking into my tire. I had to pry it out and all of about 12-13 mm of it were embedded into the tire.

Yeah, that figures. So, I sat there then laid back, angry, steaming quietly, wondering about how I'm gonna deal with this. I try to be self sufficient, but there are times I'm not equipped, and this appears to be one of them.

The tire can likely be repaired (as temporary as that's supposed to be), but for all intent and purposes, it's dead, like that mouse, and it's gonna cost me some money I didn't expect to have to spend, like that dollar bill.

I don't believe in "fate" or "omens" - they are as silly as religion/faith. But sometimes, the irony that life gives is a serious punch in the face.

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