First World Problems

by prototypemmeh

About a week ago I was travelling from the gym to home, when I ran over a debris field consisting mainly of chunks of wood.  It was spread all over the highway right as you merged from the on-ramp, with no real way to avoid the pile.  After running it over, I waited to see if my vehicle’s handling changed in any way that would indicate a flat tire.  There was nothing, so I assumed one of two scenarios:

  1. I avoided puncturing my tires, and could brush off this entire incident
  2. I avoided an immediate blow-out of my tires, but gained a small puncture resulting in a slow leak that wouldn’t necessarily become apparent until hours after the incident.

Either way, the only thing I could really do was keep calm and carry on (Chive?), and wait until the morning.
Well, the morning arrived, and I popped out to grab some empty boxes meant for packing, and I noticed that I indeed picked up a slow leak on my front driver’s side tire.  I brought the boxes inside, put on a shirt, and went out to change my tire.

This isn’t the first flat tire I’ve had, there have been two incidents in the past, plus one time where I lost two lug-nuts from my front passenger side tire.  I’ve some experience in changing tires, and they never tend to be in the warmest of weather conditions.

Fortunately, I am apparently more prepared than I previously realized for such eventualities:

  • a metal bar that fits over the tiny lug-nut wrench provided with the car.  This helps increase leverage to loosen the lug-nuts when they are tight.  (Actually, I knew about that one, my dad gave it me, probably because he knew what a struggle it is.  An additional 6 inches of leverage makes all of the difference in the world)
  • gloves.  Well, mittens really.  From the 2010 Olympics.  Said weekend was about -2 degrees to +2 degrees, with some wind.  Not the warmest of conditions, even if I do wear shorts all of the time.  A protective layer over your hands keeps them warmer when you’re handling cold metal in not-warm conditions.
  • knee pads.  I had left my paintball knee pads in my car from the last time I went to the field with friends, and now I am thoroughly thankful I was lazy.  Asphalt is very hard on knees; bare or covered in pants.  In particular, mine have a hard plastic shell with a slightly cushioned lining bought from Dave’s Surplus in New West.  Essentially they’re what the Army uses for their soldiers.  It makes the task literally less painful.

I was able to swap the punctured tire with the spare doughnut tire in 10 minutes or less, and take the punctured tire to the very nearby Canadian Tire to have it patched and filled.  After that was done, I swapped the tires again and packed everything away, this time leaving the knee pads with the spare tire and the tools to ensure that I would have them for a later time.

Hopefully it will be at least another two years before I have to think about getting my spare tire out again.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

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