Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Just Riding Along

I don’t really have a lot of bike related topics going on right now. My fork from Walt is at the powder coater. I don’t really know how long the transition from powder to in my hands will take. I will hopefully know soon.

So with that in mind I thought I would share a couple stories about burped tubes and tires. Burping the tire for those of you who don’t know is when the tire comes loose off the rim of the wheel just enough for the tube to explode through the space between the tire and rim. Normally, it happens with a loud boom and the tube either explodes or gets tangled Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man style in the spokes of your wheel. If you haven’t had it happen, it is quite a philosophical experience.

I had a problem with burping tires right off my wheels with my old Gary Fisher 292. This bike is a 29’er and I think it had to do with the Bontrager tires I was running more than anything else. I am guessing here but I think I burped those wheel tire combinations about four or five times. Some of those experiences stick out in my mind.

One time (not at band camp) at Harbison State Park, I was rolling down my favorite short downhill when I hit a small jump at the end. I landed and immediately heard BOOM. I brought the bike to a stop without crashing. I got off the bike and my buddy Joe rolled up behind me looking for a wounded soldier. There was a four inch hole in my tube. It just burped and consequently exploded the tube.

Another time I was rolling down Big Rock in Dupont with my 292 when I hit a small off camber ledge. This is all on slick rock mind you. It is a small ledge but you have to make sure you land it right since it leans to the left. Well that day I hit it straight on and the loudest boom I had ever heard. Nobody was with me. There is something about going at a decent clip, getting some air, landing on rock and having your tire go from 38 PSI to 0 PSI in a nanosecond. I know it was probably a little longer than that but I am a computer geek so nanosecond is what it is.

What brought all of this up you ask? Well one day last week Rick got to experience his first philosophical experience. We were “just riding along” down a dirt road in “The Queen.” Rick was on his single speed which he doesn’t ride very often. So it was Jeff, Rick and I all rolling side by side chatting about whatever when it happened. Rick was about a foot to my left when I heard a loud sound. A silenced boom if you will then a bunch of rattling noise. I thought he had just fallen somehow. I stopped, looked back and his tire and tube were a tangled mess. I don’t know how he didn’t crash or cause one of us to crash. I hate to see that but it is good to know that other people have this problem sometimes.

Paris tonight if it is not raining.

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