So there’s one remaining problem with my bike. And it’s huge.
The first one happened while walking back from the bike shop, thankfully not during a ride. It was loud. Gunshot loud, which explains how it basically broke my heart. I am very attached to this bike.
I brought it back to the bike shop, they did a tube replacement, and I was on my way.
I put the bike through it’s paces, and it can fly. Or rather, I can fly on it. I easily paced with traffic on Sheridan Road with the 52:15 gear ratio. I took a relaxing loop on the bike path and went to see Carolyn at a cafe (to show off my ride). I meet her outside; she digs my ride.
This is where this post gets its title. The tube exploded - again. We were just sitting and chatting and then staggering backward as the hipster-ridden cafe was rocked by the sonic shock of my disaster-prone bicycle. Okay, I lied, I didn’t really stagger. I actually took the whole thing in stride, barely missing a beat in the sentence I was in the middle of before the explosion. I can’t explain it. Maybe I was trying to play it off.
Then I realized the serious nature of this second blow-out.
I could have died earlier by having a blow-out going 35 MPH in traffic
Something is seriously wrong with my bike
I take it back to the bike shop, the awesome mechanic only charges me for the tube since I am having the worst day ever, and I ride home very, very slowly.
Possible causes of the failures:
Tire - it could be defective
Grease - I may have gotten grease on the lip, causing slippage
Rim - it’s an old wheel
Rim Tape - it could either have a hole or be too wide (more slippage)
Tube - two bad tubes? very unlikely
Solution? New wheelset, maybe new tires. Why? Because now I am a little scared of my bike, and I’m not okay with that. I am, quite literally, putting my life on the line if I ride as fast as I want to on a hey-it-might-explode rear wheel.
I found cheapies on Amazon. I’m not interested in light or expensive wheels, just wheels that function and will last. Unfortunately, I can’t convert from 27x1-1/4 to 700c wheels because my brakes won’t reach (even with adjustment), and I am not prepared to spend much more money on this project.
Right now I just want it to be done, but deep in my heart I know that this will be a continual project until literally every nut and bolt, frame and for included, is new. Then it will be complete. The only original parts are the wheels, crankset, bottom bracket, frame, fork, headset, cable housing clips, seat-post nut/bolt/washers, seat post, seat clamp, parts of the brake installation, and stem.
It’s going to take about a year, in which time I will also have completed a super-sweet Raleigh that my awesome neighbor Cliff gave me. Yeah, he gave me a bike and lent me tools to get started. Basically a novice biker’s godsend. I definitely wouldn’t be this into bikes if it weren’t from him. Here’s a quote - not verbatim - from our phone conversation today: “you tend to find smart people on bicycles, not motorcycles.”
Men.Style.com: A really interesting interview with Quincy Jones
Men.Style.com:You were there to witness the strange evolution in Michael's appearance. Did you ever step in and saying anything about it?
Quincy Jones:Oh, we talked about it all the time. But he'd come up with, "Man, I promise you I have this disease," and so forth, and "I have a blister on my lungs," and all that kind of b.s. It's hard, because Michael's a Virgo, man—he's very set in his ways. You can't talk him out of it. Chemical peels and all that stuff.
MSC:Did you believe him about the disease?
QJ:I don't believe in any of that bullshit, no. No. Never. I've been around junkies and stuff all my life. I've heard every excuse. It's like smokers—"I only smoke when I drink" and all that stuff. But it's bullshit. You're justifying something that's destructive to your existence. It's crazy. I mean, I came up with Ray Charles, man. You know, nobody gonna pull no wool over my eyes. He did heroin 20 years! Come on. And black coffee and gin for 40 years. But when he called me to come over to see him when he was in the hospital on his way out, man, he had emphysema, hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, and five malignant tumors. Please, man! I've been around this all my life. So it's hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. But when somebody's hell-bent on it, you can't stop 'em.
MSC:But it must've been so disturbing to see Michael's face turn into what it turned into.
QJ:It's ridiculous, man! Chemical peels and all of it. And I don't understand it. But he obviously didn't want to be black.
MSC:Is that what it was?
QJ:Well, what do you think? You see his kids?
MSC:Did you ever discuss it? Did you ever ask, "Michael, don't you want to be a black man?"
QJ:No, no, no, please. That's not the way you do it.
I wonder if this has ever happened in the US? United States police officers don’t fuck around with their dogs. They are actual officers themselves. Nutty to the extreme but it would have prevented this.