Bike Tires Need Love Too

Remember how I’m really bad at biking, and I feel like I’m working twice as hard as anyone else who ever clambered onto a bike,and I feel like I have the physical conditioning of a throw pillow?

Remember that time Barack Obama said that properly inflated tires will save you fuel?

Well, it’s true, and I learned that in a very humbling way, for a “grown-up” and a Mechanical Engineer.

Wednesday after work, Biking Person/Ecocheap taught me to take care of and change my tires.  I learned how to disassemble my bike, and got to play with all sorts of fun new tools.  We inflated the new* tires to 80psi once they were back on.  The ride home was fantastic!  Pedaling was almost effortless after all that plodding around on nearly-flat tires.  Talk about energy saved- it was way more than 3%.  So, political point made, as I zoom along, feeling much more like a clock radio than a throw pillow.  Not quite a light switch, though.  Are these metaphors making any sense yet?

I never really rode bikes as a kid (grew up on a fairly dangerous country logging road), so I had no idea what a flat tire felt like- or that my tires were under inflated. Did you know bikes have a tire on the outside and a tube on the inside, and it’s the tube you inflate?  How did I get this old without knowing that?  More importantly, why didn’t they teach us that instead of Fluid Dynamics in school?

Now, I have no excuse for such quad-busting ignorance.  I’ll have to find a gage and pump this weekend, and keep my tires (all six of them!) at the proper levels.

*They were new to me.  BP/EC found them in the “please reuse” piles behind Big Wheel Bikes on Prince St.  I’ll check it out this weekend for my pump.  And maybe a bell, though I bet they don’t discard much of that stuff for the first taker.

1 Response to “Bike Tires Need Love Too”

  1. 1 millie August 8, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Don’t forget to look for a light too.

    You learned to ride on the hill in the back yard, but had no reason to ride around the land in the mud, jumping creeks and avoiding tree limbs like your brothers…and you are quite right the road out front was no place for bikes. The last time Ricky skated on the road home from a friend’s, he was bitten by the neighbor’s dog.

    Happy riding on your new to you tires!

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