Thursday, March 4, 2010

Miss Ellen is Flat

Okay, I am clearing things out and up for Spring. This is one big issue that takes the bloom off for me.

I bought a used bicycle. I am not fond of flashy urban transportation. It generally gets stolen. This bike is from the mid-sixties, I think, with a cracked saddle seat and very smooth (3) gears and pedal action. Stickers from Amsterdam. Miss Ellen got around.

I do not generally name my transportation, either, because they are just supposed to get on with it, you know. But Miss Ellen charmed me. Unfortunately she doesn't have that same joie de vivre she used to have.

So a bike ride means I walk the bike many blocks to a city gas station and pay for air. I ride briskly, we go home, and she deflates once out of public view.

What to do. She's got new tubes, and some kind of liner in her rims to protect the tubes. Do I have to spring for new rims? Advice please, if you have any.


Bob G. said...

As a once avid bike rider (twenty miles through Pennypack Park in Philly was a snap), I would check the valve stems FIRST.
It's the easiest thing to correct (valve removal and tightening tools are so easy to come by - check K-mart).
Then, I would look at the tires themselves to see if they have anything imbedded in them that may puncture the inner tube.
Lastly, I'd check the rim linings, for signs of rough spots that can chafe the inner tubes or valve stems.

Aside from those items, I can't think of anything else that COULD cause such rapid deflation.

Makes me think if we dould get our government SPENDING on par with Miss Ellen's "deflation", you'd really be ONTO something good!

BTW, my old Kabuki 12 speed is languishing away in our garage..I miss not being able to (SAFELY) ride about.
But the locals around here are SO wanting your bike..just because.

Hope this helps the two of you out.


Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
If I had read my post as a stranger, I would also wonder if Ann T. Hathaway perhaps weighed 600 pounds or something. I assure you that is not the case.

So, valve stems. I will get that checked out. Miss Ellen and I need a serious dose of sunshine!

Thank you,
Ann T.

Edith Bunker said...

So do you have a giant basket, big enough for a sack of groceries? I had a bike like that for a short time; right up until it got stolen.

Ann T. said...

Dear Mrs. Bunker,
Miss Ellen is in need of a sassy hot-pink milk-crate looking thing strapped on her back seat over the wheel. Alas, I haven't done it because she has already deflated enough!

I'm sorry you lost your bike! I saw somebody once steal a bike tire in less than a minute. I flagged down a police officer but that guy was long gone by then.

Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T.

Yes, Bob G is right on. Check the valve stems--the spot where they come into the tire. When a car sits, these are the things that fail to make flat tires. I bet the same is true for bikes.

I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was in 10th grade after moving out of NYC--Manhattan, is not a place that encourages kids riding, unless the family is willing to traipse over to Central Park.

Good luck, safe riding, yes I know they look dorky, but don't forget a helmet and don't blast the ipod!

Nursey nags from the Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Wow, I had my first bike for a six years old bday present, and rode it for almost twelve years. A sears bike. I am glad you learned!

I always wear a helmet, don't like them, but head injury--no way. I never listen to music on the bike, either--too many things to pay attention to! What I really like is a track or a bike-dedicated road.

Nag me all you want, nursey!
Ann T.

Unknown said...

I must see Miss Ellen. Picture please.

And when you take the Amtrak down to Ft. Lauderdale you can bring her and we can ride along the beach in the lane dedicated to bikes. Just sayin.

Bring her even if she's not fixed. My dad is a master bike fixer upper. No matter how badly I mangled mine jumping over ravines and off the end of docks into the river he fixed it all up good to ride another day!

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee,
I am taking you up on that. It sounds absolutely fun.

I'll take a picture of Miss Ellen and put it up tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Ann T.