This is a companion to a post I wrote a year and a half ago, Rushing (2 min read).
The Bike Ride
A few weekends ago, our family of four decided to go on our first bike ride of the season.
It wasn't very far, we were planning on going to a nearby park.
We got all four bikes out of their hibernation cave (our shed), and my wife checked that the tires were pumped while I packed up the backpack for the trip.
A quick aside: When you travel anywhere with two kids under a certain age, you end up having to bring your house with you ... in a backpack. I'm not sure at what age this ends.
After a few minutes of prep, we were ready to go.
The kids and my wife went ahead. I put on the backpack, and got on my bike.
I started to ride and immediately realized, my front tire was completely flat.
At first, I was a bit confused, but quickly thought it might have just been an oversight.
I yelled out to my family who were over a block away by this point and asked them to carry on to the park.
I figured I would pump the tire quickly and then pedal fast to catch up.
So, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Well, for me, I can't remember the last time I pumped up a bike tire.
I am certain I have done it before at some point in my life, but that particular step-by-step how-to memory had simply vanished.
So here I was trying to pump up a bike tire, for essentially the first time.
Just so you can imagine what our pump looked like, it was one of those stand-up pumps that you hold down with your feet and use two hands to push the air through.
These are not designed to be particularly complicated.
There's just one very important piece of information you need to know.
But I won't ruin the ending of the story just yet.
I was in a rush.
I tried what felt like several different combinations of things and nothing was working.
I spent 20 minutes on it before I turned to YouTube.
After that I spent another five minutes, and still had zero success.
I gave up.
I put the bike back into hibernation (the shed) and started walking to the park instead.
As I started walking, I noticed that my particularly helpful neighbour was awake.
The competitive part of me really needed to know if the pump had in fact mysteriously stopped working in a matter of seconds or if I was just doing something wrong.
I knocked on my neighbour's door and explained my dilemma.
Naturally, he was able to pump the tire using his pump in a matter of a seconds.
I asked him if he could try pumping my other tire using our pump. The real test.
Again, he did it in a matter of seconds.
He demonstrated something that—in my rush—I had overlooked in all my attempts and even missed on the YouTube video.
The Important Thing About a Bike Pump
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to pump a bike tire in a rush, here's the key insight you need to know:
The locking mechanism of a bike pump, doesn't work the way you think it does. It works the opposite way.
That's it. I don't have to insert a picture into this post or anything to illustrate my point any further.
If you just use that piece of insight, you'll be back on your bike in a matter of seconds.
The Point of This Post
If you find yourself doing something for the first time, do it slowly.