and not a single soul escape

UPDATED below

Friends, this is too important to merely tweet. I was walking in downtown Providence (or downcity, or… whatevs), when I came upon this scene:

The mainstream media may be afraid to report this, but it’s obvious, the nudist rollerblader rapture has begun.

May god have mercy on our souls.

In other news, I wore out the front rim on my 6-year-old commuter bike. The brakes were feeling a little funny and then….

BLAM!!! My rim exploded. I was quite surprised. And now I know what it feels like when a rim is about to go.

——

UPDATE !

I should explain what it feels like when a rim is about to blow: The rim begins to warp and I could feel it in the brakes – they sort of “pulsed” as I slowed down. As it got worse, the brake lever would actually move as the brake calipers went over the more warped sections of the rim. Since the rim material is so thin, there isn’t enough of it to hold the shape of the rim so it also starts getting far out of true. I could see my wheel start to wobble a little and I thought “I guess I need to bring it into the shop soon and get this wheel trued.” The brakes were pulsing a little bit, then they started pulsing more and more.. and then BLAM! I was on Commonwealth Ave in Boston at the time which can be a very busy street. Fortunately, I was in a bike lane, going about 10 MPH and there wasn’t much traffic. I was able to slow down using just my rear brake and pull over to check out the damage. There were some surprised pedestrians on the sidewalk who asked, “Did you just get hit?” “No,” I replied, “I just blew out my rim!”

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6 responses to “and not a single soul escape

  1. My rim blew out on me this past spring. It was just over 4 years old. Luckily, it happened while I was at work (scaring everyone in my section of the building!) rather than while I was riding. I’m glad you are ok.

  2. A few years ago, I had a rim blow right after I finished climbing a steep hill. Unbelievably loud!! I was SO glad that it hadn’t blown when I was coming down the other side of that steep hill! On another bike, I recently had to replace the wheels because the rims were wearing – - and I certainly didn’t want to repeat that scenario again! Glad you weren’t riding at the time either!

    • Oh, I was riding – on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. It was good that I was in a bike lane, and not in heavy traffic. Fortunately, I was only going about 10 MPH so it was easy to slow down using just my rear brake.

  3. How many miles did it have on it? Not that I’d have to worry about something similar, you understand, but so I can keep my friend safe…

    • I wasn’t closely tracking my miles until a couple years ago, but just from totaling up my daily (short) commute and recreational rides over 6 years, I’d guess at least 15,000 miles, maybe as many as 20,000. That included two winters in Edmonton Alberta where I frequently rode through snow, ice and a wonderful snow & sand mixture that neither melts or freezes, but gets on your rim and helps wear it down. The biggest thing I learned from the explosion was what it feels like before a wheel blows. I’m going to update the post to include that in just a few minutes….

  4. Pingback: 2013: The Year In Pictures | Car-Free in PVD

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