The problem with life, is the decisions it forces us to make. And the problem with decisions, is that it’s just as easy to make a bad one as a good one.
And the problem with bad ones, is that sometime they lead to other bad ones. Like a gambler chasing his debts, or a drinker chasing his pints of craft ale with Jaeger-bombs.
For the cyclist, buying cheap inner-tubes would be an example of a bad decision. And by cheap, I mean those tubes made by a brand that is not so much dis-reputable, as has no repute whatsoever.
They just appear, in the world, with a fancy logo, and expect you to trust them and buy them. They are often packaged up in deals with new tyres and, trust me, they are terrible.
I’m not naming names, but suffice to say they are not Continental, or Bontrager, or Schwalbe, or Vittoria, or Michelin. These are reputable manufacturers, and you can sometimes buy their tubes at very reasonable prices.
This is different from ‘cheap’.
With the cheap ones you see the deal, and you think: “well, I’m buying the tyres anyway, might as well get the ones that come with tubes.” And then you compound your bad decision with another bad one, and fit the tubes to the wheels of your best bike.
And seven miles into your next ride the valve gives up.
These are tubes so bad, that’s it’s not even a fixable puncture that ruins your ride, but an unfixable and unfathomable valve failure.
You probably then make another bad decision – it’s easy done, and they’re stacking up now.
You curse your ill luck, and replace the offending tube, but neglect to replace the other soon-to-offend tube. Within seven more miles the other tube suffers valve failure.
And now, finally, three bad decisions in, you get the message.
And you’re grumpy, because of wasted money, and ruined rides, and because no-one enjoys making bad decisions. So you head to the pub to cheer yourself up.
And then things get away from you, and you chase your pints of craft ale with Jaeger-bombs.
Suddenly the cheap inner tubes are looking like the least worst of your bad decisions for the day.
(Image: via Flickr CC – bill85704)