Abandoning a Flat

We have had a lot of seemingly mysterious rear wheel issues with the ownership of our first Yuba (this two Yuba thing could get confusing, we are considering names). When the tire went flat Tuesday, with three boys aboard, I sighed deeply. Was this a related issue? It didn’t really matter. The important things were 1) what are we going to do about it? 2) why does Huntington have such a mosquito problem? It’s a related issue, as I was bitten dozens of times just standing there trying to figure out issue 1.

We were deciding to walk home (less than a mile) when the owner of the home we had locked the bike in front of, opened the door. We knew these people! Their children attended school with ours. How serendipitous! We parked the bike in their living room and carried on home. Brent returned with London, whom we dropped off at violin. He went back to the Yuba with proper tools and discovered a staple in the tire, that was most likely there before, causing both this flat and the previous slow leak.

Small town benefits, flat source found. The perfect October weather was just dessert.


It is noted, we didn’t carry anything to fix the flat. I gave that up when we are not going far (probably not a great practice), and I wasn’t going to fix it with three children crawling around and with the MOSQUITOES. I didn’t walk the bike home because I didn’t want to damage the rim or the tire further. What would you have done?

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5 thoughts on “Abandoning a Flat”

  1. We got the bicycle roadside assistance plan from Better World Club (I learned about that from Emily Finch). Before that I hailed a cab. I can’t imagine attempting to fix a flat with two kids to wrangle by the side of a busy street. Mosquitoes would be a comparable problem.

    Thus the only tool I carry to fix a flat is a cellphone. It’s pathetic but it’s exactly the same thing I’d do in a car, as I learned last Christmas when the minivan got a flat tire. I’m still scarred from that experience, incidentally.

    1. Oh you city slickers. Hail a cab. That’s laughable! Here, you call for one, and then you wait and wait. So it’s best to call and reserve one in advance of your needs, if you can reach someone by phone. I don’t have a cell, so that was out, and I didn’t really know who I would have called…

      Looked at the BWC and wowzer, it wasn’t cheap for only 2 calls ($52/first rider, $17/person add ons), and I am leery of their coverage here. Yet, the concept is fabulous. Does home owners insurance cover your bike? And medical cover you? What’s the need for this extra insurance? B/c I really don’t know.

  2. Well, although it is possible, hailing a cab is hellish given that we have the unwelcome mantle of worst urban taxi service, and calling one never works. That is why we ponied up for BWC. Which I hear will send a tow truck just like AAA if it comes to that. Mostly I didn’t want to ever be stuck in the Tenderloin again, trying to get cabs to stop by jumping in front of them, while my kids looked wide-eyed at the open air drug deals. Admittedly less of an issue with an assisted bike; I can go over Nob Hill instead of through the ‘Loin now. Steep hills have the virtue of being above what we refer to as “the shopping cart line” here in our fair city. Anyway it was just a really traumatic experience all around. I would have paid twice as much. (The car flat was even more horrific in a different way, but we did have roadside auto assistance then.)

    Renters insurance covers the bikes (I recently called and they suggested we spring for a lower deductible given high claims in the area, so we did). And we have platinum level health insurance because I work for a medical center, so that one is the least of my worries. I wanted roadside assistance only.

    1. Wow. To see side by side the differences in our family bicycling realities is eye opening. Maybe we should do a post together. I have lived in large cities, but never with children. Might make for an interesting comparison.

      1. That’s actually a great idea. I fear I may have turned my mom off riding a bike forever by taking her out on what I perceived to be a quiet street and she viewed as roughly equivalent to riding on the interstate. I lose perspective! There are different challenges everywhere.

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