Just Tired

Today’s object has been with me since the 1960’s. The cardboard Schwinn tire repair kit container is the part that predates UPC codes, and gets used regularly. The spoke wrench, valve wrench, and chain link tool (not pictured) have joined my kit over the years. And I regularly acquire new patches and solvent/adhesive.

1960's Schwinn Inner Tube Repair KitBecause I live and ride in the city, flat tires are a regular part of my life. But I go through cycles (so to speak) in how I deal with them. At times, it hardly seems worth it to put a patched tire back in when pristine replacements cost less than the fancy retail coffee I feel I deserve after the labor of repairing a tire. Other times I hate to waste a mostly good tire, and I have the repair materials (but not the replacement) right here.

This morning, I dealt with two flats: One on a bicycle, and another on a loading dolly. The dolly tube (shown here) had a manufacturing defect: New in the box, a tear in the inner tube was barely covered by a patch that held for about a year after I bought it. The bicycle tire was also flat due to a failed repair from about a year ago. I just flipped and re-glued that patch. The bicycle patch seems to be holding, but the big hole in the dolly tire is too much and too close to a seam for my meager decades of patching experience.

Of course I learned that my dolly tube repair skill was inadequate after putting the tire back on the rim. That always seems to be the hardest part of the job. So I have to go get a new tube, and maybe stock up on some spares for the bikes, while I’m there.

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