Summer Tires

Isn’t Memorial Day weekend usually rainy, or at least not one hundred billion fucking degrees? I already had the air conditioner in the window, but I really thought that I would move to Anoka this week without turning it on this year. If you’re curious, it was already in the window because I switched the screen from the air conditioner window out for the screen that Stan had cut a few weeks ago when he and Lisa were locked out. You see, they could get the ladder from the garage and I had a window open and hilarity ensued.

I have a few boxes of books packed and I threw out four or five Target bags worth of crap — magazines, books, random pens — all that shit that for some reason I just couldn’t part with the last couple of times that I moved. This is after sending four or five boxes of books and an assload of clothes to my mom’s rummage sale (and then the Goodwill, lord help them). I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of the crap that I own. Balls.

Earlier this weekend I put the summer tires back on my bike. I forget now why I switched them out for the slightly treaded tires during the winter. It was probably snow-related, and it probably only gained me a day or two of travel. My verdict for winter riding is that I will do it until I have a exercise-induced asthma attack and then lay off until it warms up again. I could have gotten back on my bike earlier this year, but that one evening I spent wheezing on the couch kind of ruined it for me. Every time I switch the tires on a bike I think to myself that I will never do it again. Holy BALLS I hate doing that.

First you let the air out of the tires. Then you pry the old tires off of the wheels. I now have two kinds of tire lever tools: blue ones from Park Tool, and black ones that came in Lisa’s multitool present. Once you ram the lever in there and get things started the tires just roll off, but you have to be careful not to do what I did and nick the tire in the process. At least I think that I nicked the tire in the process — it could have been while I was putting the new tire on the rear wheel, but in any case when I tried to pump air into the inner tube, it was like a black and white silent comedy. I would pump, and the needle would go down. I would pump faster, and the needle would swing back to zero as if mocking me. I sat on the deck next to the tire and pumped while holding one ear next to the wheel. You could almost picture the black card saying “Aha! Jesse has found the leak” and hear the crescendo of the poorly tuned theater piano as the camera cut to an exaggerated response on my face. In this case, it was an exaggerated response of frustration and anger. You see, I had gotten the tire all the way onto the wheel already, which is a process akin to pulling one’s own foreskin over one’s head — not the glans, you dirty fucker, I’m talking about grabbing that foreskin and pulling it back over your whole body until it looks like you are wearing a turtleneck, and then ducking down and shouting “you can’t see me, I’m hiding!”

The actual process of patching an innertube with the little patches and rubber cement is fairly self-explanatory and did not add to the already embarrassing Delta Force nighttime camoflage on my face and hands. If it wouldn’t have been a million degrees outside already I would have put on a black stocking cap and set charges to demolish the garage — but not before Stan made it out with the microfilm!

My bike looks better with the Kevlar tires back on it. The knobby ones just felt like I was driving the short bus. Maybe if anyone cares at all I will post some pictures of my bike and my amazing clip-on panniers that I made from — uh — actually I made it — one lone pannier — by just clipping my old bag to my rack.

Oh yeah, I sometimes wear spandex shirts when I ride to work now. It’s a sweat thing, really. Just a sweat thing. I am not turning into a douchebag!

Fuck. Next year I will be wearing all spandex and riding a three ounce bike while having my own red blood cells reinjected into my veins so I can have just that much more stamina. Oh yeah, I’ll be drinking 50/50 creatine and beer.

No, really, I prefer those Champion C9 mesh shirts from Target. They’re cheaper and I think that they wick away sweat better. I’m basing that on the fact that they are stinky when I get to work and worse when I get home. HA HA ZACH YOU GET TO SMELL IT!

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