Wednesday, September 7, 2011

That Weird Guy Down the Block

"Hey, mister," the kid said, "I have a flat tire.  Would you fix it for me?"

I had become that weird guy down the block, always working on bicycles in the driveway, and all of the kids in Pataskala, Ohio, knew me.  They would come by with non-functional brakes, squeaky chains, and all of the other ills that kid bikes are prey to, and I would fix 'em up and send them on their way.

I had a different attitude about flats, though.

"I won't fix it for you," I said, and the kid's face fell.  "But, I'll help you fix it."  He cheered up, again.

So, I got out the necessary tools and a patch kit, and I had the kid pull his wheel off, dismount the tire, and pull out the tube.  Then, we got a bucket of water and the pump, and he found the hole.  After that, I walked him through the patching process.

Once it was all done, it had taken about 5 times as long to finish up than it would have if I had just patched his tube for him. But, the kid rode off with a new experience, and a certain amount of pride in having fixed it, himself.

I am still stunned that people go to bike shops and pay good money to have someone else fix their flats.  Maybe they need to look that kid in Pataskala up, and ask him how to do it...



  1. That's a basic, easy skill. You did good, Jon, by imparting the knowledge. Good on you!

    My dad taught me how to fix flats.

    Peace :)


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.