As expected, I woke to a fully flat rear tire on the Big Dummy. No problem, I just did the preschool run with the old mamabike. Yay for having a backup vehicle or two (road bike and double trailer) or three (car). Monday is not the best day to have a flat tire as many bike shops are closed, but we had beach plans in the afternoon and I’ve become spoiled by all my cargo room and really wanted to have things remedied by 12:30. The flat was a blessing in disguise: I’ve been meaning to meet Henry of LionTail Cycles and now I had a reason. He built my friend’s Xtracycle and sounds like an awesome guy:
LionTail Cycles is a company founded on one vision: Getting more people on bicycles. To this end, founder Henry Kellogg aims to provide affordable and practical car alternatives. LionTail is based in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. LionTail is a licensed XtraCycle vendor, and offers several different electric conversions.
I called to see if he’d fix my flat and verify I could easily walk my bike to him. Turns out he’s just around the corner! So the toddler and I each grabbed our wheels and headed over.
Henry is as cool as he sounds in pixels. He’s passionate about cargo bikes and electric assist and was happy to fix my flat while we balance biked around the block and tromped through his garden. Last night Mr. Family Ride found the piece of glass that caused my flat and in examining my tire, Henry found another just waiting to puncture me again. Yes, that’s on my list of things to start doing: regularly check tires for embedded pieces of glass. The tire itself was fine, thank goodness.
Unfortunately, I noticed my tire was a little low as I prepared to leave for preschool pickup. I’d somehow knocked off my valve cap and bent the valve in the course of the early afternoon, but I’m nothing if stubborn and impractical so I left the bike loaded with beach gear, pumped up the tire, and figured I’d come up with a flat-tire-backup-plan during the ride. My first thought was to have Mr. Family Ride pick up the kids from the beach if it flatted and I’d walk the bike to a bike shop, leave it there, and then catch the bus home. But then I had the much more reasonable idea to ride by Dutch Bike Co for a new tube.
Good thing, too, because it got low again during the two-mile ride to preshcool. Lucky for me, The Main Tank was joining us for the beach and carries a bike pump. What a great idea! I should do that! She pumped me up and stopped with us for a snack break at Dutch Bike Co while I got my new innertube.
I like the dolly the used for fixing my flat. It’s probably necessary for a bakfiets–I can’t imagine one of those on a bike stand!
The beach was good, the tire held. And even with the delay of fixing the flat, we still had time to stop and sit in the big wooden chair on our way home…although I can’t wait for the day the Missing Link is fixed and a trip to the beach won’t take us by the chair.
Today’s miles: 19.9
June cumulative: 108 miles
interesting and entertaining as always- Henry sounds like a cool guy and I love that dolly idea!
Thanks! And thanks for not pointing out that I could/should do my own maintenance :) Some day! You’re an inspiration there.
oh- I barely do my own…if its a rear wheel I’d much rather have the “pros” do it and ensure my rear wheel is placed properly- a feat that the “pros” say is a pain in the arse;)
Great post! You should totes take a class at BW. You are super smart and can do this stuff for yersel. if you wanna, I mean.
Davey, be careful what you wish for–I think you are going to have a horde of mama bikers in your upcoming SLU ABC!
Matt took a bike maintenance class and I had ambitions to take it as well, but it was cancelled. If there were a shop literally around the corner from us, though, I suspect laziness would win regardless.
I for one am glad that you don’t fix your own flats. I know I won’t the day I get one!
Thanks Kath! I have tools now, but I’m not convinced I’ll use them in the event of a future flat.