The tires on my new wheelchair are air filled. This is new for me. My old reliable chair, which I’m sitting in now as I type, had solid rubber tires. I was wary of the new tires because I could just picture what a flat would mean, the trouble it would cause, and the idea makes me sweaty with anxiety. Nonetheless, this is my new reality. The chair is, increasingly, wonderful to push and ride in as I adjust to it, but I now need to adjust to the tires.
I noticed that I would probably need to put air in soon. We headed over to buy a bicycle pump and were greeted by a young man who simply had no idea about pumps for either bikes or chairs but did know who to ask. Another fellow came and I explained that I needed a portable pump because we travel a lot and I needed to be able to pump up the tires on my chair.
It was so weird because, firstly, the guy had trouble talking to me and looked mostly at Joe (well, that’s not so weird) but secondly, he couldn’t bring himself to mention my chair. He kept talking about bikes and pumping bike tires, talked about being an avid bicycler himself and the situations he’d gotten into with his bike. I wanted to be sure, absolutely sure, that this pump would fit my chair wheels. I was told they would by the folks I bought it from but I wanted the store guy to confirm.
He heard my question and said that the pump would work with any bike tires, I told him that I wasn’t sitting on a bike I was sitting in a chair and I wanted to know if I’d been properly advised about the tires. Nope, couldn’t do it, it was back to bikes and bike tires and the whole shebang.
We bought it.
I know that we should have gone elsewhere but we’ve been traveling a lot, and we’re feeling a bit old and frail, and we have to fly again in a couple of days, so we just bought it.
Sometimes we don’t feel like protesting.
Sometimes we just put up with less than the best because we don’t have time to search for the even barely decent let alone the best.
We have a pump.
And are working up the courage to try it.
On my bike wheelchair.