13 February 2009

Changing a Tire Part II and the Lactate Threshold Bike Test

Last week, I changed my rear tire and was very proud of myself. Apparently, when I changed it I pinched the tube and had a very slow leak. I rode on it on Tuesday night and decided that I needed to change the tube again for the lactate threshold bike test on Friday. So, Wednesday afternoon, I picked up a couple of tubes from the bike shop. I headed home and started to change the tire again, for the second time in a week.

Well, let's just say that changing the tube didn't go well again. I got the tire off and the tube out. I even located the hole. I pulled the new tube out of the box, got it into the tire and started putting the tire back on the rim. After about 45 minutes of frustration, bad words, throwing things, and a phone call to my dad I got the tire back on. Phew...

I pulled out the pump to inflate the tube but, the stem was too short. I was furious! I threw my tire levers. I tried to force the pump onto the stem (it didn't work). I considered throwing the wheel, but decided that wasn't an option. I stepped away from the bike, ate some chicken and squash (yummy) and made my plan.

I took the tube out, folded it back up, which was really hard, and then put it back in the box. I put the two tubes and the receipt in my bag and was prepared to exchange the tubes for tubes with longer stems.

Thursday, after work, I rushed over to the bike shop to exchange the tubes and to buy some new tire levers. My other ones were completely trashed from my previous three removals of my tight tire. The throwing probably didn't help either... I got home, replaced the tube, and even got the tire back on with minimal stress. Apparently, I'm becoming somewhat proficient at tire removal and replacement.

I put the pump on the stem and started pumping. No air was going in. I tried about 17 different times and ways to put the pump on and get air in the tube and NONE of them worked. Once again, I was furious. I had a bike threshold test to complete in the morning. How was I supposed to complete it with a flat tire? Why in the world will air not go into this tube? What is wrong with me that I can't get the flipping tire to hold air? Perhaps, irate is a better word. After much frustration, and more bad words, I put the wheel back on the bike, decided I was going to ride on the flat tire, and went to bed.

This morning when I woke up, I set the bike up on the trainer with its flat tire, and did my bike lactate threshold test. I started my 15 minute warm up which went fine. I started my lactate intervals (also part of the warm up) when I dropped my chain. I hopped off the bike, and tried to get the chain back on; however, it was stuck, so I had to take the bike off of the trainer, flip it upside down, take the wheel off again, get the chain unstuck, put the chain back on, and then start riding again. I finished the lactate intervals and started my 5 minutes of easy pedaling.

Then came the hard part. I had to pedal as hard as I could for 2o minutes. I also had to keep track of my average heart rate for those 20 minutes. I did it. My average heart rate was 156. I have no idea if that's good or not, but I do not I was working hard. My mat under the bike was soaked with sweat. I did my 10 minute cooldown and hopped off the bike. I took the bike off of the trainer, put the trainer away, cleaned off the mat, and grabbed a shower.

The workout was tough, but I'm not sure it was as tough as changing my stupid blasted tire. Riding on a flat tire was not a good idea, but I reasoned that I'm planning on buying new tires before I start riding outside, so who cares if the tire is shot. Plus, its just a trainer tire, so no worries. Oh, I should also mention that the rear wheel is now in the back seat of my car. I'm going back to the bike shop for the third day in a row, to figure out why the stupid tire won't hold any air. Yep...I'm still angry about that.


Tinkerbell said...

OK...I know I'm not supposed to, but I can't stop laughing. That's what practice is all about...mastery...takes time. And just to ask the obvious...did you unscrew the valve stem opening before you tried to pump in the air? Tire changing can be easy if you know a few tricks and you don't have to take the bike off the trainer (or turn it upside down) to get the chain back on. Press the derailleur forward a bit to create slack in the chain, guide it onto the chainring then spin the pedal forward. Here's a couple of links for you: (this is for getting it back on without touching the chain *at all*)