YMWW #10: 6 Flats, 3 Tubes, 2 Bikes, 1 and a half Weeks

Wednesday, November 28, 2009

(Originally posted on Facebook)

Although this Thanksgiving’s feasts (yes, plural) did their part in throwing off my exercise schedule, it was my Bike Week from Hell that really disrupted my routine. Let’s break this down chronologically:

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

I enjoyed Sunday afternoon at Bishop Museum with some roommates—Akos from Hungary, Thomas from France—and my friend Juvana. That’s right, a museum. Wees be hella educated and shizz! I had plans afterward to meet up with my family in Hawai’i Kai for my cousin Austen’s 15th birthday (everyone wish her a belated happy birthday, she’s tagged), but because the bus is slow and unreliable, I was running late. I was going to take a bus to my place, then ride my bike to my cousin’s house, then drive my cousin’s car to Hawai’i Kai. In a rush, I arrive at my place to find. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER ONE. My bike. Front tire. Perfect timing.
“Fortunately,” my roommate Peter has a spare bike, so I rode that one to my cousin’s house. “Fortunately” is in quotes because Peter’s bike wasn’t in what in the best shape: no front brakes, spotty rear brakes due to a bent rear wheel, a brake cable that stuck out enough to hit with the left pedal, front gears that didn’t shift, and rear gears that shifted with huge jolts. Try riding this uphill and in the dark. Happy Birthday, Austen.

Tuesday, November 17th, and Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

After two days of riding Peter’s bike to work and back, I finally buy an inner-tube patch kit. It took me a while to find the hole, but I eventually located it, cursed at it, and patched it up. After eating way too much (again) with my family (again) for Austen’s birthday (again), my cousin Ellis drove me to a gas station so I could fill my newly-patched tire with air. He even paid the 75 cents! I went to bed with a smile on my face, but woke up to. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER TWO. My bike. Same tire. Lost valve stem cap.
I saw that flat tire in the early morning light and my legs screamed in agony at the thought of churning the gears of Peter’s bike up some hills for the third day in a row. The valve stem was naked and it was then that I recalled never replacing the cap after filling up the tire. Lame.

I was forced to ride Peter’s bike again.

That afternoon, I picked up an extra valve stem cap from my local bike shop. They definitely recognize me now. I then walked my bike to the nearest gas station, filled it up, and consciously put the cap on the valve stem. I rode home exclaiming out loud how I missed my own bike. I think I even improved a song about it.

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Hey, guess what that morning had in store for me. That’s right. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER THREE. Same bike. Same tire. I guess it wasn’t just the lack of valve cap.
Either my patch job wasn’t so perfect, or there was another hole I didn’t see. Either way, the ride that morning was miserable. On top of having to deal with Peter’s bike again, the morning was cold, wet, and windy. While literally chanting, “I think I can! I think I can!” I thought to myself, How could my luck get any worse? With the comedic cruelty of a Hollywood film, that afternoon’s bike ride home sent me. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER FOUR. Peter’s bike. Rear tire. During the ride.
Now it was getting ridiculous. I wasn’t frustrated, I was flabbergasted. Fortunately—and I mean it this time—I was only a block and a half away from my cousin’s house. I walked Peter’s barely-rolling heap of metal (it has been demoted from “bike”) and waited for my cousin Dean to get home. He gave me a ride and a wrench so I could replace my front tire with Peter’s. Though my bike was beginning to take on a Frankenstein-like appearance, it was up and running.

Friday, November 20th, 2009

I rode my bike to work for the first time that week. It was a good start to a good day, for every Friday is a half day. At noon, I got off work and rode to Waikiki to check out some other job prospects. Half day, job prospects, two tires and no patches. How could it get any better? I have to stop asking myself rhetorical questions about my fortune, for karma sent me. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER FIVE. My bike. Peter’s front tire. One humongous thorn.
On the way back from Waikiki, I saw that the front tire was a little under-inflated, so I stopped by a gas station to fill it up. With the air hose in my hand and the valve stem cap securely in my back pocket, I went to fill up the tire and noticed a small white something on the tread. I figured it was a piece of paper or maybe some stuck gum. I went to pick it off and instead unleashed a hissing stream of air. Immediately, I shoved the thorn back into the hole and rode my bike back home. The tire was flat by the time I pulled into my driveway.

Saturday, November 21st, 2009


Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

On Sunday, I patched up the hole in Peter’s front tire, which was much easier to find thanks to the width of size of the thorn. I get to work work successfully for the next three days, but only back it back home twice. I walked out of work on Wednesday to find. . .

FLAT TIRE NUMBER SIX. My bike. Peter’s front tire. Complete apathy.
I don’t bother to inspect the flat tire, much less try to ascertain what happened. I just made a few phone calls and saw a movie (The Blind Side, 6/10) to pass the time until I could get picked up by my cousin Dean. There was no work on Thursday (Thanksgiving), so I only had to take the bus on Friday.


I finally purchased a long overdue inner-tube, the kind with sealant on the inside walls that immediately fills and seals punctures. When I summarized my flat tire tales for the clerk at the bike shop, he handed me the new self-sealing inner-tube and said, “I hope this seals the deal.” I wasn’t sure if he was making a joke, but I hope he’s right.

My now fully healthy bike, surrounded by failure.

And, of course. . .

Though Roxy model Jarah Mariano is not in a bikini, I found this picture to be gloriously appropriate.


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