Sunday, September 2, 2007

I wonder if the glue is still good...

A pile of old tubes that have made their way into tires I've ridden were bugging me. With a little time on my hands, I checked to verify their air holding ability. Ones that had big cuts or snake bites got tossed. Tubes that had a small hole were patched. It's been a long time since I patched a tube. Actually, it had been a long time since I had a flat - on a ride. Within the past two days, though, I did get two flats while the bikes were just sitting on the floor - not even JRA.

Out comes my patch kit from storage. I notice that the price tag on it is from when I worked at Pacific Coast Cycles and I recognize the year that the price tag was applied as 1991 - 16 years ago! What is even more interesting to me is the country of origin. The older patch kit was made in "W-Germany." The new patch kit was made in "Germany." The old patch kit was made at a time when Germany was divided into the communist East Germany - home of broad shouldered female swimmers and Katarina Witt, the sizzling ice skating phenom, and allied West Germany - home of Porsche and Volkswagen.

Countries may change in name and politics, but the need to patch tubes doesn't. And, no, the glue wasn't good after 16 years. It somehow evaporated out of a virgin tube.

A couple other things that simply don't change: Rema Tip-Top is still the best patch kit and the price gun I bought for my shop is the exact same make and model that I used over 15 years ago.

The more things change, the more they don't.

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