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A more exciting day than expected
I hopped on my bike this afternoon to head to City Hall to drop off my mail-in ballot, and promptly ran over a pin and exploded my rear tire.

So I went to the bike shop instead, and got two new inner tubes (one for backup!). Then I dropped off my ballot and changed the tube. This is the first time I've changed a tube on a bike. It wasn't difficult, but it required more strength than I was expecting. Also I had a little trouble getting the wheel properly seated when I put it back on (I've not removed the rear wheel before, either), but it is all better now.

I don't think my hands have ever been that dirty before.

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Gardening? Bah. Dirt comes off easy.

I think the runner-up may be the time I climbed the pine tree and got quite thoroughly coated in sap.

Ahhh. The factor you're talking about is the persistence of the grunge, not the grunge itself.

If you're going to continue working on your bike yourself, get used to it...although you'll probably get better at avoiding SOME of the grime as you've done things a couple times. I can change a tube now without any permanent epidermal stains.

Some sort of combination of coverage and persistence, I think. Hm. With a factor for nastiness -- coated in honey? Persistent and thoroughly covered, but not really dirty.

Unless you do it right. :)

Well, even if you aren't doing it right (and really, what other excuse do you have to be covered in honey? Seriously, please give me another viable option.), you'll be sticky enough that you WILL be dirty and FAST- think Pigpen from peanuts!

So our dirtiness algorithm is taking coverage, persistence, and nastiness into account...any other parameters like expectation/intent (with gardening, you aren't surprised when you end up grimy, and some might say it's part of the attraction) that should be taken into account?


I think intent usually affects how distressed one is by the dirtiness, but not the actual level of dirtiness proper.

Although whether one is prepared for the mess and has taken appropriate precautions/preparations may fit in there (if you have been changing a tire in your own garage with a nice rag handy and can pop in to wash your hands, that is not so bad, whereas if you are changing a tire on the side of the road with no civilization for miles, that is a much bigger problem). Or maybe that's just part of how quickly you can get it off / how many things you have to avoid touching because of mess?

When I'm doing auto work in my own driveway and have greasy hands, I tend to find that even though I can just pop into the house to wash my hands, I've usually locked the door (by standard habit) and my keys are in the pocket of my relatively-clean blue jeans....

The tragedy of pockets!

You should wear tighter pants, to eliminate the temptation to put things in them. Oh, oh, and they should be black so as not to show grease stains.

I would argue that it affect the perceived dirtiness level. I'm going to feel much dirtier if I wasn't expecting to get dirty than if I anticipated it, even if my actions and preparation would have been entirely the same in both situations.

::takes notes::

::waggles eyebrows::

...and really, what other excuse do you have to be covered in honey? Seriously, please give me another viable option.

Well, there's always the Unpleasant Explosive Incident With The Clogged Squeeze Bottle technique. Or, for that matter, creative ways of trying to sling the honey to the top of the bottle that go Horribly Wrong and leave divots in the ceiling....

A rear tube?

What do you do to hold the chain out of the way?

I remove the rear tire. I have a quick-release hub, you may need a wrench to remove yours.

Oh I have a quick release too.

The only time I get my hands dirty, is why I have to pull the chain away from the cassette to seat/unseat the wheel from the frame.

Ohhh, that. Well, I usually have to pull the tire sort of...out away from the frame, and then...um...maybe sort of twist/pull it away from the chain?

My physical memory refuses to translate into words. I could probably show you how I do it if you're nearby, assuming, of course, that I'm not entirely making this trick up in my delusional brain.

Sure, thats what I did this morning... its putting it on that i usually get dirty... or in this case, when I forgot that my bike was behind me with the chain "up in the air" and backed into it so I got a nice steak of grease on my shorts.

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