Monday, August 17, 2009

maybe I shouldn't try to learn everything from books

I nicked a tire on my bike last week and replaced the tube by following the instructions on the box. I still wanted to patch the old one though- Dan has done enough tube patching to feel that it’s not worth the effort, but I figured it was worth a try, especially since the tube was only a month old and we need one for our spare bike. I couldn’t find any rubber cement, so I asked a friend who was coming over to bring some along if she had any.

Instead she brought a patch kit; even better. And it had instructions- hurray! They say “How to use” with a little picture of a skull and crossbones on one side and a fire on the other.

“1. The side of Aluminum foil is adhesive and care should be taken so that a finger.”
Huh. Well, maybe this makes sense in context.

“2. Pick a corner of the paper and remove the paper softly from the aluminum foil.”
Okay, I don’t see any “paper,” but maybe that’s what the orange stuff behind the black stuff is.

“3. When the rubber solution coated on the tube s about dry put this patch on it with paper as it is.”
That implies there’s a rubber solution coated on the tube. Well, I can do that. I do wonder how I’ll know when it “s about dry.”

“4. Snap the paper by folding the patch on the center.
5.Remove the paper from the snapped parts.”
These suggest the paper goes on top, which is logical. I suspect that if it’s actually paper it won’t snap exactly, but whatever.

“6. Place the repaired part of the tube on a stand and pat it with a small hammer several times.”
“Pat” it with a hammer? Huh. Pressing it together or clamping it seems to make more sense than gently slamming it. But anyway.

It felt like I should start by putting the rubber cement on the tube, since I’d be waiting ‘til it “s about dry” and all. So I get out the cute little tube enclosed, open it, and squeeze. Nothing happens. Hmm. I start flattening it from the bottom. Still nothing. Aha! The cap is still sealed! I poke a hole in the foil carefully, expecting rubber cement to start oozing out too quickly due to all the squeezing. But it doesn’t. The brand new, unopened tube appears to be completely empty. And I give up.

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