More product quackery
Based on my limited success fighting off pinch flats on my road bike, I decided to invest in a quality top-of-the-line floor pump. Or so I thought. Instead I have another candidate for a Built-in obsolescence award.
Essentially, I wanted to, without a lot of effort, get my tire pressure into the +90 PSI range so as to minimize the possibility bottoming out of my rims against the asphalt, which invariably leads to the chronic pinch flat problem.
So, I used the pump once, and then used it again a couple of weeks later. Unfortunately, it only topped out at 60 PSI the second time. Called a Joe Blow and sold by REI, I found several references to people having problems with the specific brand on a few biking message boards. Not able to fix the problem, most of the problem posters ended up returning it; one person ended up returning the pump twice.
I did not want to return the pump myself, so I battled over the inner workings of the pump for several hours. I finally discovered that the hose/gauge head housing had probably gotten contaminated with grease or oil. I used some cross-country ski wax remover on the rubber gaskets, which ended up fixing the pump leak by improving the tackiness of the seal.
Dang OIL! ... The Cause of most of the problems in the world today(TM).
More bad news. I accidentally ran over a Mallard duck last Sunday. I wonder what this means in terms of symbolism? Suffice to say, the outcome for both parties came out better than your typical deer/SUV incident. I feel bad, but don't count me in for the animal humanitarian of the year award though. That goes to Phila.