It's Hot Enough To...

The other day we received a call from a couple on the trail, about 5 miles east of Jefferson City. They were suffering from a serious attack of flats and finally a split tire. Through the wonders of Google and an I Phone they came to us.
       10 minutes later I am in the pickup heading over the river. Now I don't mean to whine but, it seems the only time I get called out is when the temperature is about 30 degrees above or below my comfort zone. Today's temp of 105 put it quite handsomely in the above category.
       Luckily they were in the open and easily spotted, unluckily they were in the open and I was about to get cooked. By the second handshake my eyeballs are sweating and I'm eager to get started. Without further ado the problem bike is flipped over and I'm pulling wheels.
       Now I'm not new at this tire changing thing and, whilst I'm not professing to being the faster tire changer in the west, I ain't the slowest either and my thumbs have pushed so many errant tires onto rims they have developed callouses. So you can imagine my surprise when, after pushing the front tire on, my hands and, especially my thumbs, are not just sore but downright painful.
        The rims were so hot both thumbs had developed large blisters. By the finish of the rear tire and tube change the skin had all but gone on one.
        Anyway, the job got done and the couple was very happy, although being happy in 105 degrees did make me question their sanity somewhat, but it takes all sorts. By the time I got home I figured I'd need a skin graft and a week off, Pam settled on a small band aid and told me to get back to work.
        So, here's the thing. I brought the old tires and tubes back to dispose of them and, on closer inspection those tubes suffered in the heat. The rubber definitely felt different and the valve stem needed next to no encouragement to eject itself. In this triple digit heat of late and bikes being left inside cars we have had quite a run on tubes. So try and be careful when leaving bikes in the heat. Maybe let some pressure out of the tires and be careful when removing the pump head after inflating them.
        Now, excuse me while I go and soak my thumbs...
Posted on July 29, 2012 .