Levers and Tires and Beers, oh my!

Going down into my basement has been stressing me out lately. My basement is not “finished” by any stretch of the imagination, but as of late it has started to resemble the set of Sanford and Son. Or maybe a Mexican chop shop. Unlike Fred and Lamont Sanford, however, my junk consists of piles of laundry, plus a dizzying mishmash of bicycle wheels, tubes and tires – so many I had forgotten which sets go on which bike, and who any of them belong to.

It all started last spring when the back wheel of the Giant started making noise. Lots of noise. You may recall I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince a bike mechanic there was something wrong with it. I had come to that ridiculous conclusion when I replaced it with an extra back wheel my brother had lying around, and the noise stopped. Girls are so dumb. For the emergency loan of his rear wheel, I made a mental note to pick my brother up a case of beer.

So here is where it starts:
– brother’s wheel on Giant
– “not broken” back wheel from Giant in basement

Then, a crash in late July trashed the Giant’s front wheel. So I “borrowed” the front wheel from my husband’s road bike. Definitely owe him a case of beer too.

– front wheel from Giant trashed and in basement
– husband’s front wheel on Giant

Then in the fall, a friend lent me a cyclocross bike to try out for the season. But it came with slicks. So another friend lent me a pair of cyclocross tires to use for racing. That’s two more cases of beer.

– friend’s slicks and tubes in basement
– other friend’s CX tires on borrowed CX bike

At the end of the season, I returned the CX tires, leaving the bike belly side up in the basement, sans wheels. I also put a power tap on the Giant, which required yet another back wheel.

– power tap rear wheel on Giant
– brother’s rear wheel in basement
– CX bike wheels in basement

In the meantime, I started to feel bad about the hubby’s road bike, sitting in the basement like one of Hannibal Lector’s victims, stripped, maimed and left to die in a well. So I talked to the bike shop about getting a new wheel to replace the Giant’s broken front wheel, which unlike the “not broken” rear wheel, was quite visibly broken.  I was informed by the shop that although the rim was indeed broken, the hub was not, and of decent enough quality that I should consider rebuilding it. Not myself of course. I had to go home and look up what a “hub” was.

When I went to pick up the rebuilt wheel, it was so shiny and beautiful, it looked like it should be in a Tiffany’s box! Rick had done such a great clean up job on the hub (which I could now identify), that with the new spokes and rim, it looked like a brand new wheel. And another case of beer.

The rebuilt wheel went promptly down to the basement.

Today was the day. Like the omnipresent pile of odd socks, I had to deal with the puzzling mountain of tires, wheels and tubes. I spent the afternoon looking at treads and numbers, removing and changing tires and tubes, deflating and inflating, and matching wheels with bikes. By the end of it, I had changed 5 tires. Thankfully this is a task in which I take enormous amount of satisfaction. Perhaps because every time a woman changes her own tire, somewhere a macho redneck weeps like a schoolgirl.

There is one oddball tire leftover, the identity of which is a total mystery to me. Kind of like that one sock that always seems to be leftover every time the laundry is done.