I knew I would be pleased with the results, but the process? Argh. Why so hard?
It was supposed to be rainy Saturday, but it unexpectedly cleared and dried up. If I could have finished that story sooner, I would have gone biking! But noOOOoooo. We had plans to go out to dinner Saturday night (late Valentine's Day celebration), and I was out of daylight for biking outside. I went out to the garage to check on the track stand bike, which I'd pumped up twice while riding it the day before. Just as I feared—the rear tire was flat. So I went out for a walk instead (and did at least enjoy a little sunlight), knowing that my weekend TODO list had just gone up by one.
That bike... its track stand is the worst I've owned, where it's unusually obnoxious to get the bike in and out of the mount. As in, more than 5 minutes of trying to balance it enough to screw down the clamps. When I had to get a new bike, I just dedicated the old one to staying on the track stand 24/7. Fixing the rear tire means getting the bike out of the stand (and back in again later), which I knew would be grief. But not as much as actually fixing the flat!
When I got that bike 10-12 years ago, the sales dude convinced me that going over to a 700x23 tire would be better for road-biking than the 700x25 I've always used. For reasons that amounted to 'vague awesomeness,' as far as I can recall. I spend ten years struggling to change the tires on that thing, breaking one plastic tire iron after another and trying a variety of beaded/non-beaded tires to see if I could find one that was not so freaking over-tight! I vividly recall a conversation with some jerk at Performance where I had to explain that I wanted a looser tire because I needed to be able to change it myself. Who did he think was going to change my flats? Ugh.
Well. When I got the new bike, I decided to go back to the 700x25 tires, thinking that they might make the ride a little softer (another ongoing challenge for the rump and hands). The first time I had to fix a flat on it, it was as if the heavens had opened to choirs of angels. I could get the tire off as easily as I used to be able to do. And back on again! Never again, 700x23, you lying menace of a tire spec! Never again.
BUT. The tires on the track stand bike are still 700x23. *cries* So yesterday, after another failed cat-adoption run, we stopped at the bike store and bought a new 700x25 tire for it instead.
Sunday's weather was much like Saturday's. It dried up in the afternoon, so I rode outside (coooold), then got the old bike off the stand and proceeded to work on the flat. I wasn't sure whether I actually need the new tire, because the old one was in pretty good shape. But since I COULD NOT get it off (and had a bruised thumbnail to show for it), I decided I'd had enough. I tried a box-cutter on it, which did not work (those radials are really pretty good!). Then I got out a screwdriver to pry it over the rim, and that worked.
After that, I entered a realm of mysterious incompetence where I caused two (TWO) pinch-flats in the final phase of trying to get the last side of the new tire over the rim. I haven't had a pinch-flat in more than 15 years! (And in case you were wondering... HalfshellHusband routinely gets pinch-flats, which is why I change my own flats/tires when I'm at home). So I left the tire MOSTLY done, and brought it inside to let it warm up (which helps) and stretch a little overnight.
Now it's the last day of a 3-day weekend (one that flew by too quickly). I need to finish getting that tire back on, possibly ride outside (cold and windy today) OR maybe in the garage. Clean up some of the clutter I started dealing with on the last 3-day weekend a month ago. Call my mom. Maybe do some sewing repairs? Already, I can see that list is bigger than the time or energy I have left.
It also dawned on me yesterday that while I finished boxing the Christmas lights back up on that same weekend, I didn't put them away in the garage. On the high shelf, where the boxes are so heavy I can barely lift them overhead. So that should happen, too. But will it? I could be lucky just to get that stupid tire taken care of, the way things are going! :(