Cold-Related Transportation Trouble

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My feet in combination with the train would probably rank as my primary mode of transportation. Probably was necessary because I am listing my bike as my secondary mode of transportation, but it’s really hard to say which I use more. My car is relegated to tertiary status; which is perhaps where everyone’s car should be.

Keeping my bike well maintained should be a priority, but I don’t do much in that regard. Mostly, I trust that a quality bicycle pretty much runs un-aided. Recently, my front tire has seemed a little soft, so I went to the shed aiming to inflate to a hardy seven bars. At the shed I encountered a bike problem which I have never faced before.

My tubes use Presta valves which are referred to as 仏, which is the single character abbreviation for French. The standard for kids’ bikes (and cars) in the states is Schraeder, which we call 米, which is American abbreviated. The standard for Japan is the Woods or Dunlop, which we call 英, being the abbreviation for English. To inflate my tires I: remove a plastic cap; loosen the metal tip of the valve; vent a little air; and apply the pump.

As I started loosening the plastic cap a loud hissing came forth. Inadvertently, I had removed the entire valve assembly from the stem. As far as I can tell, the extremely cold temperature in the shed left the plastic to metal threading tighter than the metal to metal threading. My burly neighbor took the valve in his fingers and twisted the cap off, but after reassembly and inflation I managed to damage the tube at the base of the valve. This is a problem I have encountered before; especially when using my tiny hand-held pump.

I think I will bring the bike into my entry hall to warm up a few degrees before replacing the tube. Unfortunately, my entry is not heated and is rarely much warmer than the ambient temperature. I did a little reading and found that the plastic cap is intended to protect a stored tube, but is not needed after installation. I always thought it was good to keep the valve as clean as possible, but after this foible, may have to rethink that.

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One Response to “Cold-Related Transportation Trouble”

  1. simaldeff Says:

    You at least have bike problems … I don’t have anymore since they stole mine on the 24th of December … yeah somebody received a nice stolen mountain bike for Xmas.
    i’m still mad about it .. now it takes me 25 minutes to walk to the station.

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