Yesterday I went for a bike ride for the first time this year. This is probably not a winning strategy for a person who is supposed to complete a triathlon in TWO WEEKS, but let us move along in unruffled disregard of that disagreeable fact, shall we?
It was a hard-earned bike ride. I pumped up the rear tire, no problem, but then as I was pumping up the front tire there was a loud bang. All the air went whistling out of it. I took off the wheel and eased out the deflated tube, and then I zipped over to the bike store to buy a replacement tubes.
When I tried to fill the new tube, though, I noticed that the pump was making weird gusting noises. I looked closer and discovered a hole in the pump tubing. Undeterred, because TWO WEEKS (so much for unruffled disregard), I thought I could get a temporary fix with electrical tape. Or maybe electrical tape plus pinching fingers. Or maybe electrical tape plus Pete's pinching fingers, because it's hard to pinch effectively and pump effectively at the same time. Using this winning strategy I got the tire filled to a non-ridiculous level and rode the re-assembled bike* over to the bike shop so I could fill it up the rest of the way with their gust-free pump.
*What's your confidence level on changing a bike tire? My husband thinks it's a Level 1 life skill, like making scrambled eggs. I think it's more like Level 3, like making Oeufs à la Neige or something: I can do it, but it feels like a hassle and it makes me a little grumpy. Also I will not be a hundred percent confident about the results. Is this a male/female thing? Maybe my brother will weigh in if he sees this post.
As I was riding to the bike store I was thinking about the weirdness of the situation. First, how did I get simultaneous holes in the tube and the pump hose? And another weird thing: when I wasn't vigilant about the pinching-pumping combo, the new inner tube would deflate. At first I wondered if it was defective, but suddenly the reason dawned on me. If you connect a higher-pressure zone to a lower-pressure zone (in this case, the partially inflated bike tire and the split pump hose), air will flow rapidly from A to B. I didn't blow the first tube at all; I blew the pump hose. Air flowed out of my bike tire and through the rupture until everything was at atmospheric pressure.
So it's almost certain that I asked the bike store to recycle a perfectly good inner tube. But maybe you can avoid making that mistake someday now that I've made the mistake for you?
I went on the bike ride. It was painful. And a car pulled in front of me so unexpectedly that I stopped short and had to retrieve my bike and myself from an oversized hydrangea bush. My dignity, alas, remained behind, awaiting retrieval at some unspecified point in the future. At least it wasn't a rosebush, she said crabbily.
Huh, I was going to put this in the Fitness category but it has pretty much nothing to do with Fitness. I have no category for Reflections On Non-Intuitive Physical Phenomena That Become Clearer While One Is Engaged In Gentle Physical Activity.