Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blowouts and blisters

If I could go back in time and give myself some advise before embarking on the journey of life I might say to myself... 'Now kid you're in for quite an ride, some of it will blow your socks off! Some will be a bit scary. Sometimes you're going to wonder if any of it was worth it and some days you'll think you've discovered Paradise and you just won't want to leave but remember! Things never stay the same and 'There will be blowouts!'

(Don't get excited I have no intention of continuing with any profound revelations in the rest of this blog post, from here on it's just an ordinary day in the life story about getting a blister and bursting a tire.)

Today the kids and I had a great time hanging out on the church lawn and scratching around in the Mulch Pit. There was a mob of people around as usual, everyone on their own trip, talking drinking coffee meeting friends 'networking' (OK that word shits me just as much as seeing it in practice but if the word fits...). Yes It sometimes gets a bit pretentious on our turf, sometimes it seems that "connectedness" has displaced friendliness but on the whole it's still an OK place to hang out on a Saturday Morning. Today the boy and I decided to venture back into the Mulch Pit, It's been a while since I'd attempted to do any physical work in the garden, the kids had been a bit of a handful over the past year so I'd given up trying to do anything beyond keeping a close eye on them. But Today was different! Today We Gardened!

I got stuck into it for a while with a crowbar, mattock and shovel, (digging a banana pit) only to find that after years of working in an office with very little sweat time... my hands had gone all soft like a girl baby! The callouses I had developed years ago when I did stuff, had dropped off and my hands which are now pink and soft, were vulnerable to blisters! So after only a few minutes of digging, I felt the skin on my finger rip as the crowbar tore open a blister that it had only just created! The sweat of my over fed, doughnut blubber, office-bound body dripped into the wound and I said "eowww!" I cried 'I've got Blisters on my Fingers!' but nobody sang along! (Some folks have no sense of humor... Or maybe they were never into John Lennon!) I am discovering just how frail my body has become. It all started when I learned how to use a computer! My body has atrophied to a shadow of it's useful self and I've become a helpless blob of cyber-space-cadet whose body has been drifting in zero gravity for over 10 years. This was bound to happen! I resolved to continue digging, but more carefully. I managed to get a few other things done and ultimately I felt good. It was a weak first start but at least there was sweat!

During the process of me recommencing manual work a fella turned up carrying a banjo, I think it was his girlfriend who had the harmonica, they were into gardens but not used to the heat and didn't want to sweat. I suggested they might like to sit in the shade and play some music for me while I do hard stuff and... they did! What a way to work; with the sound of banjo and harmonica to spur me on! I had this eerie feeling I was in a Coen Brother's movie. Now referring back to my first paragraph, this is what I call something close to paradise, blisters and all, the day was GOOD!

We stayed in the garden until the mobs had left Frilly's. Just as I was about to mount my bike there was a very loud CRACK sound a bit like a rifle going off. A jet of dust shot out from under the front wheel of my bike. It was a blowout! The front tire of my bike had a great split through the center of it! I couldn't believe it! It just went off! Lucky I wasn't riding down hill at the time it would probably have sent me off into the gutter or worse. I looked at the tire. It was yet another salvaged from the tip. I'd traded up a few times having found better profile tires, this was one I was quite fond of and not ready to part with. Unfortunately, even though there was still a bit of tread on it, the tire had actually perished a fair bit and needed to be replaced! I just wasn't ready to do it yet. That'll Learn me! The blowout only set me back a few minutes, I happened to have another wheel waiting in the wings, it had been donated a couple of weeks previously, I just pumped up the tire and threw her on and Bob's your uncle. I was mobile again!

 (There's a hole in the tire!)

(Best tire I've ever used and it was a gift left under a tree!)

Got home, went to the shed, reached in and pulled out a treat that spun my head! Magnificent tire full with tread,  left under a tree just by an anonymous friend!
It was given only a couple of weeks ago! A Schwalbe Marathon in closer to new condition than any of the tires I've ever had! I fitted the new tire and tube, filled the thing with air, stuck it where the front wheel is supposed to go, re-connected the brakes and took it for a quick spin. Unbelievable! I actually couldn't believe the difference in the ride! With a lot more pressure and slicker tread pattern, this tire made my bike feel totally different! Better! Much better! The problem now is I look at my bike and think. "You're not worthy!". A feeling of guilt or shame or something came over me. How could I put that beautiful tire on such a crappy, nasty old rattle heap of a bike! The darn tire's got me wanting a whole new bike to put it on! Or maybe I'll just have to get busy learning how to rebuild this bike properly! I can't wait to take the bike out for a reasonable ride to see just how great tire is, who knows I may even put the rear one on before the old one has a blowout!

Thanks Douglas! You're a champion!

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