Boom. Pop. Shaking. Loss of Control. That awful feeling you get when you hear or know when your tire is going flat. A few months ago I was taking a short ride out to get a few groceries. I was biking along the road and somehow managed to ride over some pieces of a broken taillight hanging out in the bike lane. My tire was slightly punctured and was leaking slowly. I wasn’t too far from home so I kept going for a little bit. My once easy bike ride suddenly felt like I was peddling down the road with a four hundred pound gorilla on my back. Even the small hill seemed terrible, like trying to run in deep sand. Eventually I did make it home. I gave the tire a nice little inspection confirming my disbelief that the tinniest shard of plastic had slowed down my life that much.
The ironic part about a tire on a bike, car or plane, is that it is one of the least expensive, yet most vital parts of the vehicle. Of the thousands of parts that make up a car, a tire is often one of the simplest- yet, most crucial to its functioning. When it is not working- even though it is just a tiny part, it makes the entire vehicle almost inoperable. It doesn’t matter how nice the leather is or how big the engine, a car won’t go very fast or far on a flat tire. How about a multimillion dollar plane that can’t operate because it ran over some debris in the runway and punctured one of the tires? Or what about that bike in your garage with a flat tire waiting to not be ridden? Continue reading What’s Your Flat Tire?