Remember when you were a kid and you rode a bike? Remember how the tires never even crossed your mind? Remember how you never, ever got a flat tire in your entire childhood?
So naturally when you bought a bike decades later after not having one all those years, flat tires were the last thing on your mind. And although you live in N.M. and see goatheads all the time, you never for one second thought one of those tiny little things could take down an entire bicycle, right? I mean, surely at this stage in human advancement, a bike could trump a goathead.
Boy was I wrong. And unprepared. And very unknowledgeable about tires. Luckily, I got my flat on the tail end of an 11-mile ride. I was pretty close to home. That night, I bought this clear, gooey bottle of stuff to insert in the tubes to seal them. The next day I spent a disastrous 45 minutes squeezing out 1 oz. of the stuff (out of four that I needed), most of which ended up oozing out and being wiped up with paper towels.
An avid bike rider at work offered to show me how to change the tires. Another cyclist recommended pre-filled Slime tubes, which I bought at Wal-Mart. Little did I realize that -- LUCKY ME! -- my bike requires extra-long valves, which even a pro bike shop didn't carry.
They created a sort of jerry-rigged alternative for me and filled them with goo for me, but I still have to go out and change my own tubes on BOTH tires and IT'S SO UNFAIR!! When it comes to tires, I suddenly revert to a very old-fashioned point of view: I think men should always change women's tires. Bike, car, whatever.
But, I guess if I'm going to ride a bike in N.M. -- you know, me against the goatheads -- I'm going to have to suck it up, right? And get dirt under my fingernails. It will look good with my helmet.