I was riding my bike to kung fu grilling when the tube blew up.

I'd noticed that the tire was starting to lose air earlier that day on my way back from the co-op. This was not a big deal; bike tires periodically need more air, so I went to the gas station down the street from my house and filled the tire. As I was pedalling down the street, something about my bike felt funny, like I was losing air again, like I had another slow leak, but it didn't seem to be significant so I didn't stop.

When I got up to 25th, I stopped for a moment before turning the corner, and in the moment that I was stopped, there was a huge bang and my rear tire went flat under me. The neighbors came out of their house at the noise; they thought that local kids were setting off bottle rockets again. No, I explained, it was just my bike blowing up.

I chained my bike to the nearest post and walked down to my friend's place. I told him and another friend what had happened, and he said he had a repair kit, which he went to get. I went to get my bike.

Moving my bike was a bit of a trick since it was the rear wheel that was blown out, and it's a woman's bike, so I couldn't put the crossbar on my shoulder and just carry it. I ended up holding the frame and back wheel in one hand and the handlebars in the other and wheeling it down the street like that.

We took the tire off the bike. We in that sentence is mostly my friend, with me figuring out how to detach the little three-speed thing. We took the tire off the bike with the intention of patching the tube and possibly the tire if necessary, and found out that in no way was that going to happen. Whatever had caused the tube to blow up had torn a 6 inch gash in it. The tube was toast. We set the bike on the ground and went on with the evening, which involved grilling, Invader Zim, and wisecracks about exes and flavoring the food by burning the tube.

Two other friends helped me get my bike in its various pieces home again. I'm going to need a new tube, which, like filling up bike tires periodically, is a fact of bicycle ownership: sometimes tubes just explode and you have to get new ones.