I finally figured out what is wrong with my bike. Yay!!!
For several weeks I’ve had “cathunkata thunkata” noise (with a corresponding bump) coming from my back bike wheel. I’ve checked the tire pressure, nothing wrong. I checked the rim. Nothing wrong. Checked the back gears and the quick release. Nothing.
Last night I took Louis out for a ride and the noise and bumping was worse. I remembered Mum talking about square tires when she lived in Vanderhoof & Fort St. James and wondered if this is what it felt like. Something twigged and I stopped, yet again, and checked my back wheel, yet again. Tire properly inflate? Yup. Wheel on straight? Yup. I was frustrated as what was going wrong was obviously getting worse but I couldn’t figure it out. Thinking of the square tires I picked Louis up and spun his back wheel to see if something was stuck on the tire and causing the cathunkating. This is when I finally saw the problem. It wasn’t something on the tire, it was the tire.
The side of the tire was giving out in several places, both coming unglued and fraying apart. This meant the tire was weaker and bulging out at this point. Bulging a lot. It looked like a snake that had just swallowed a rodent. Except that snakes, as far as I know, don’t generally look like they’re about to explode if they hit a bump (am I taking the simile too far?).
After the thrill of figuring out what was wrong I was now faced with a quandary, what to do about my ride? My options, as I saw them, were:
- Head home immediately and change the tire, maybe finishing my ride after
- Head home and finish my ride inside on rollers then change the tire
- Continue with my ride and keep my fingers crossed that the tire wouldn’t blow
#1 seemed like the most sensible option so I started back home. Then I realized that that would mean that I would only ride for 20 minutes and after fixing my tire it would be late and I likely wouldn’t have time to finish my ride while it was light. I’m just getting back into training after a recovery week and I really didn’t want to start missing workouts already.
Okay, option #2 then. What a great opportunity to get back on the rollers and try, once again to master them. Just because the first three attempts were intensely frustrating while managing to be mind bogglingly tedious didn’t mean the fourth attempt would be too. Hmm.
So I did a modified option 3. I kept going with my ride but did loops and stayed close to home in case the tire went “BANG!: and I had to walk back. This turned out to be the most boring road ride I’ve ever done (I did one leg drills to break up the tedium) but it was still better than going on rollers!