The only thing I love as much as speeding along on my Cannondale road bike is getting a flat tire. I certainly don’t set out hoping to go flat, but I’m very happy if I do. Why?
When I got a flat tire on my first bike, A Trek hybrid, I would leave it for weeks before working up the courage to drive it to my local bike shop to sheepishly ask one of the children who work there to fix it for me. I would bring the whole bike, too afraid to even mess with the quick release skewer.
Growing up, there was no premium on me being able to fix things in my parent’s house. My dad could do stuff, but he liked to work by himself and never showed me much. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m blaming my parents for me not being handy, but it is absolutely 100% their fault.
For me, shame was the mother of education; and, thanks to YouTube videos, I can fix a punctured tube -- and have so often that I dare suggest I’m actually good at it. I can get a tire bead off the rim without levers, just by rolling the tread with my thumb. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a fellow cyclist on the side of a road flat just so I can help. I even bring extra air canisters and tubes just in case.
Why do I love getting flats so much? Because I used to be afraid of them and now I’m not. Flat tires remind me there are things in this world for which I’m one YouTube video away of no longer being frightened by. I love flat tires because I can fix them by myself. And that’s why I look forward to getting them.
I’m Dan Libman, and that’s my perspective.