The inner tube that exploded.


This is a piece of inner tube I saved from a very traumatic childhood moment that will bring back some very painful memories from retelling the story. I was riding my bike around the neighborhood one day when I noticed my front tire going flat. Fortunately I was near a gas station with an air pump so I went there to replenish my tire’s air supply. I affixed the hose from the pump to the tire and let the pump run. And run. And run.

I didn’t have a tire gauge with me to measure the air pressure so far but judging from the bulge forming on the tire, I should have concluded I was putting in too much air. While I did notice the bulge swelling to the point to prevent the wheel from turning, it never even dawned on me to let out some air first before attempting to ride the bike. Instead, I attempted to ride the bike home the way it was, swollen tire and all.

Then it happened. The inner tube burst with a very loud bang that sounded like a bomb going off. I quickly looked around for any startled reactions from customers at the gas station but there were none. Needless to say I ended up walking my disabled bike home.

After I got home I cut out the obliterated section of the formerly puncture-proof inner tube and saved it to preserve this moment of childhood infamy. I also wrote down the date of the incident in pencil on the wall behind my bedroom door, where I’m sure it remains decades later underneath whatever paint and wallpaper may be there now.

This is yet another painful chapter from my history of troubled relations with inner tubes. There was another incident in which I believed I could actually inflate a bicycle inner tube to the size of a 4×4. Needless to say, that belief was immediately suppressed following the deafening blowup in the garage.

I cannot continue this post.

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