Last night I went to REI (http://www.rei.com/) for a free class on Bike Maintenance. It was a good class and it really did help me to calm down a bit about Reach the Beach. I’ve been worried because I have no idea how to fix a flat tire. I took notes with my iphone.
I scoured the Google Images for some pictures to illustrate what the instructor described. First, some general terms:
The Tire: The round rubber circle that touches the road.
The Wheel: The metal frame the tire rests on.
The Rim: Where the lip of the tire fits in.
The Tube: The actual tube filled with air.
If I have a flat tire, stop riding and turn the bike upside down. Put the bike in the lowest gear. The first step is to Release the Quick Release Lever (pictured below). Pull out the wheel from the bike. Disconnect the brake cables.
Next, let the rest of the air out of the tire. Then use a tool to detach the tire from the rim. Do NOT use a screwdriver to get the tire out! It can puncture the tube and make the problem worse!
Pull out the tube and pull out the air stem carefully from the rim. Let the rest of the air out and find the leak. Use a patch kit to sand down the hole and patch it up.
If you don’t have anything to patch the tire with, the instructor said to stuff the rim with leaves/grass! What a cool trick!
Once it’s patched, inflate the tire a tiny bit–not too much. Put it back in the wheel and carefully thread the air stem back into the rim. Put one side of the wheel back on the rim. Feed the tube in and make sure everything is fitting correctly. Pump the tire. Put the other side of the wheel into the Rim and make sure it’s sitting right in the rim. Put the tire back on the bike and attach the quick release.
Reconnect the brake cables!
Here’s a video on how to fix a flat (I’m a very visual person.): http://www.ehow.com/video_4415598_fix-flat-bicycle-tire.html