My Brompton folding bike had a flat back tire. My assistant, Rooney, was ready to spring into action.

My Brompton folding bike had a flat back tire. My assistant, Rooney, was ready to spring into action.

It's a beautiful bicycle that I've had for many years.

It’s a beautiful bicycle that I’ve had for many years.

The chain has a spring-loaded device on it to maintain tension.

The chain has a spring-loaded device on it to maintain tension.

A close up of the tension device.

A close up of the tension device.

Strong springs inside keep tension on the chain, so it never sags.

Strong springs inside keep tension on the chain, so it never sags.

A pillbug, no doubt an escapee from one of my son's terrariums!

A pillbug, no doubt an escapee from one of my son’s terrariums!

Life with a five-year-old boy: To get to my toolbox, I have to clear away his seashore treasures, which are all airing out in the sunshine.

Life with a five-year-old boy: To get to my toolbox, I had to clear away his seashore treasures, which were all airing out in the sunshine.

The carapace of a Dungeness Crab, Cancer magister.

The carapace of a Dungeness Crab, Cancer magister.

My tools in my toolbox. But something is missing!

My tools in my toolbox. But something vital was missing!

My tire levers -- an essential tool for changing a flat -- were gone! Kieran likes to steal them because they make great spaceships. I looked everywhere and couldn't find them, so I had to go to the bike shop and buy more!

My tire levers — an essential tool for changing a flat — were gone! Kieran likes to steal them because they make great spaceships. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find them, so I had to go to the bike shop and buy more!

Rooney was ready to do his part.

Rooney was ready to do his part.

I got the wheel and the tension device off carefully.

I got the wheel and the tension device off carefully.

Rooney immediately flopped down on the wheel to help keep it from rolling away.

Rooney immediately flopped down on the wheel to help keep it from rolling away.

Using my new tire levers, I eased the tire off the rim and got the tube out.

Using my new tire levers, I eased the tire off the rim and got the tube out.

It was an old tube that I'd patched in the past.

It was an old tube that I’d patched in the past.

I got my patch kit ready -- it has glue, sandpaper, chalk to mark the spot where the hole is, and patches.

I got my patch kit ready — it has glue, sandpaper, chalk to mark the spot where the hole is, and patches.

Preparing to put on the patch.

Preparing to put on the patch.

Once the patch is on …

Once the patch is on …

… you have to wait for five minutes.

… you have to wait for five minutes.

Easing the tire back onto the rim with my fingers only -- this is to avoid piercing it again with a tool.

Easing the tire back onto the rim with my fingers only — this is to avoid piercing it again with a tool.

At last, it's back in and the tire is seated on the rim.

At last, it was back in and the tire was seated on the rim.

Using a wrench to put the wheel back on. The tension device comes after this.

Using a wrench to put the wheel back on. The tension device comes after this.

Getting the tension device back on is tricky.

Getting the tension device back on is tricky.

All done, and time to clean up!

All done, and time to clean up!

That was rough! Time for a nap!

That was rough! Time for a nap!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: