Josh waited until two Thursdays later to turn our little apartment into his bike repair shop and replaced both tubes just in time for Bike to Work Day the next morning. He did this fairly smoothly, with a little help from myself, but noticed that his back wheel was not spinning smoothly. It looked like this:
After riding to work the next day, while having the free breakfast provided to anyone that showed up with a bike and a helmet (what a great place to work!), Josh showed the awkward spinning to a knowledgeable co-worker and was told that his wheel simply needed to be trued. It was safe to ride on it this way for a little while but not for too long. So the next morning, we rode our bikes to another soccer game (a double-header, actually) at Wilson High School in Tenleytown. It was a beautiful morning leading into a painfully hot afternoon. After the game, ready to ride home, Josh realized his front tire was flat again so I rode home alone and he took the metro with Brendon, probably preferring to be lazy anyway. Not confident in his ability to replace his tube again, having obviously screwed something up last time, he let his bike sit unused for almost a month. This made our commutes to Frisbee and soccer games a much bigger hassle but, finally, my nagging proved useful and he took the Scattante to Silver Cycles in Silver Spring this past Saturday. Fifty dollars and 30 minutes later, his wheel was trued, his tube pumped, and his apparently defective tire replaced. Finally, he can ride with me again.
Bicycle maintenance does cost you something and it can be a hassle but it is worth the effort. A newly functioning bike has proven to rejuvenate even the pessimistic riders, like Josh who I caught researching Florida bike jerseys and comfy padded shorts when we got home. Knowing that the second tube popped because of an existing flaw in his tire, not a flaw in his maintenance will hopefully promote the tiny apartment bike repair shop as a viable option in the future.