Ok, maybe my title’s a little misleading. A flat tire probably doesn’t deserve to be called a “great mishap,” but when it leaves you with walking as your only mode of transportation, it feels pretty grave (serious).
The sad realization that my back tire was completely flat came after I spent Saturday night two weeks ago with a family from church. I got off my train in Bourg Sunday right around 5pm and I was ready to brave the light rain and make it home for a cup of tea. Well, my six minute bike ride was spoiled when I hopped on my bike and felt the back tire no longer doing its job as a round object. It was totally flat. I walked my bike home and texted G to say, “sooo want to teach me how to change a flat bike tire?” Thankfully, I’m dating a bike enthusiast (ask me sometime about how much of France he’s biked… the answer’s all of it. Strasbourg to Marseille) so he was pretty knowledgeable on the subject. Because of our schedules, it took a few days for him to get off work and make the trip to Bourg to come rescue me. I walked to school in the mean time and whined about it every day (waking up 15 minutes earlier to walk to my 8 am classes was just painful).
So he made the trip to Bourg with his handy bike fixing tools, but we didn’t anticipate he’d need a wrench to actually get the wheel off. My bike is from the dark ages. Since my landlord wasn’t home, we were stuck. He stayed for dinner and we laughed about it.
This past weekend was Operation Bike Repair take 2! I carpooled home from school at 3pm, but since it was April Fool’s Day, I decided to play a trick on G. He thought I’d get home from school around 5:15pm and his train was scheduled to get in at 5pm. I told him to just meet me at my place, but I instead went straight to the train station to surprise him. The only problem was… he didn’t leave through the main exit! He saw the crowd and scooted out a different way. I waited 5 minutes then had to chase him down so he wouldn’t beat me to my house! It was ridiculous, but April Fool’s generally is.
He wanted to get working on the bike right away so he pulled out two wrenches that he brought along and started working. We found a hole in the chambre à air (the inner part of the tire) so we patched it with a sticker patch thing from his bike repair kit. As it turned out, there were multiple holes! As I said, my bike’s ancient. So we did our best to patch where we could but realized the thing was not going to hold air. We spent an hour on it and decided to give up. (And by “we” throughout this whole paragraph, I mean he did all the work and I encouraged and passed him things)
Eventually, we went to the bike store and bought a new chambre à air. He took it apart and put it all back together like a pro. He even fixed my squeaky brakes and took off my broken rain shield. It feels like a whole new bike!
Now I have to decide if I’m gonna keep the thing next year or try to get rid of it before I move to Lyon.
The best part of the whole affair was our celebratory pastries for the fact that I am mobile again.