Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hi, I'm Glen, but you can call me Mr. Lucky, thanks.

Picture this shiny new bike, only picture it with a bike shipping box in front of it, and with a nice red glow coming from the gas heater down there. 'Cause thats how it was most of Saturday... Until I left for 14 minutes to get something from my toolbox down at work. Sometime in the intervening 14 minutes something bad happened. Really bad. Did I mention that was a new bike...Somebody else's new bike? Here's how I think it played out; I closed the door to the inner shop as I was leaving(you know...to keep it warm in there) slight stirring of air causes box to tip over, just barely landing on the back of the heater. Box ignites, burning evenly from top to bottom. When flames get to the end of the box, they melt the hydraulic brake lines, spraying the tires, which apparently ignite and burn reaallly hot, hot enough to melt alloy rims and spoke nipples, and then...nothing. Fire's out. No flames, no residual heat. Just really thick smoke. Or maybe the tires ignited, and the brake fuid extinguished the fire when it sprayed out. (Ethicalpyro, please weigh in)If you look at the background, there was no shortage of tinder...

Maybe there were mysterious forces at work?
Pat, you might want to stick with the electric heat . I'm going to save the propane for extreme conditions, I think.
Oh, if anybody sees me in the return line at REI sunday, mum's the word, o.k.?

15 comments:

Jason Gilman said...

Glen that is crazy! Maybe when the inner tubes heated up to the point of failure the resulting pop helped put out the flames too, but barring a future Mythbusters episode we'll probably never know. Glad the damage ended up being so limited.

John Speare said...

what the hey? You are lucky. ON the way to REI you should stop and buy a lottery ticket.

Pat S said...

Holy crap. Must've been one helluva shock when you opened the door. Sure glad it didn't spread. Don't even wanna think about it . . .

Yeah, guess I'll stick to electric.

Anonymous said...

Cool!!

Anonymous said...

You got luuuucky my boy, even electric heaters are sketchy... but at least easy to turn off/on when you leave the room.

Looks like the bike owner is a tall guy... hope he takes the news well!

Geoff said...

Glen,

So sorry for the damage, but so thankful it was not as bad as it could be. Glad you are okay and will be back to performing your craft

Nate said...

Like I said after the bike hang, that Glen sure knows how to throw a great barbeque!

I suspect the bike spontaneously combusted, though. Or maybe self-immolated. Had the bike expressed any gloomy or suicidal thoughts prior to the fire?

In any case, send the bikeowner a bill for the damage to your propane heater. It's the American way.

Seriously though, I assume/hope your sweet little dogs weren't hurt by the smoke.

Hank said...

Lucky is not the word. Fortunate, maybe, but definitely not lucky.

Yikes!

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

I can't imagine how the fire did not spread.

glen c. said...

I think maybe the fire used up all the oxygen in the room and went out by itself?

Nate said...

O2 starvation may explain it, but then it's lucky the fire went out completely and didn't explode when you opened the door.

Could have been much worse.

Dan O said...

Wow - that is freaky.

Anonymous said...

Glen,
I have shown this to several guys at work and come up with a variety of reponses. I want to play with some brake fluid to try and imitate what happened. In my experience, if it was a decay stage fire that used up all of the oxygen, there would be a bunch more carbon and smoke dust on everything in the garage. As for the tire blowing out, I have seen it in car fires numerous times and the fire keeps on burning. The noise just scares you. I think that the brake fluid may have put the fire out. Normally the fire would continue buring to the high point of the fuel, and neither wheel did it. Glad that the damage was limited.

Mark

P.S. I am supposed to ask if the girly posters were damaged.

glen c. said...

Mark-It occured to me that the tires were flat already. Mike hadn't ridden it in at least a year. The brake lines were both positioned perfectly to spray the opposing wheel.

joe said...

I am glad that is all that happened.

When you go back to REI, tell them you were just riding along and.......