Puncture & A Walk In The Dark Home

Yeah, the title says it all really.

I skipped yesterday – for reasons largely related to laziness – in favour of riding today. In truth I expected to be on the turbo, and perhaps I should have been. There’s a storm a brewin’ out there, Storm Arwen. A named storm. Which usually means it’s bad times, and yes, the wind is already whipping up.

However, around 3pm, it wasn’t looking so bad. Not dry on the ground, but not raining, and the wind didn’t look so bad. Off I went.

Heading out at 3pm meant I hit a lot of traffic. School traffic, stationary traffic, road works… yeah, grim out there. So I tried to stay off-road, but a lot of them paths are slippy / greasy, so at times it was precarious.

Within 30 minutes of the ride, the light began to fade. It gets dark now about 16:30, maybe earlier even. By 15:45 the daylight was fading, particularly behind my sunglasses. Also, the gusts had picked up.

Onwards though, I pressed into the wind, aiming for at least 20km or about 45-50 minutes ride.

By and large things went well enough until I turned in to head back home. With the roads busy and visibility low, I somehow missed a pot hole or … well, something, that resulted in a loud bang. This wasn’t like the last puncture but was a distinctive noise that sounded like I’d dropped something.

Checking the bike as I carried on, I saw I had everything – lights, saddle bag, my phone in my pocket – so assumed it wasn’t anything untoward. However I reckon that’s where I got a slow puncture. Within a kilometre of there, having come to another standstill at a T junction, I finally managed to set off again but my bike didn’t feel right. Checking behind, sure enough, I was riding a flat.

Fortunately I was only about a kilometre or so from home, so it was a sad and rather chilly walk home. But it could have been worse.

Without a spare tube I’m going to be waiting till Sunday for a replacement. Even then I’m not going to do the honours. I also need a new chain and a replacement cassette (already purchased) so I’ll book the bike in for a full service and switch up to the turbo in the interim.

Every cloud.

2 thoughts on “Puncture & A Walk In The Dark Home”

  1. I got my first puncture on a road bike last weekend. Glad it happened near to home as fixing a puncture on a road bike is not the easy task that it is on a mountain bike. I do carry a small repair kit with me (some tools, a pump and a fresh inner tube) thinking if I get a puncture in the middle of nowhere I’ll be able to quickly fix it. Not so. Took me 3 days to fix the puncture mainly because getting a road tyre back over the rim of the wheel is a hard and infuriating job. Glad of the experience as I might be able to do it if it happened miles from my home now but might be easier to just walk back then attempt to fix it there and then.

    • I was nodding my whole way through reading that 🙂 My first attempt at fixing a puncture was in the relative comfort of my own living room. Sore thumbs like I’d have never believed. I managed it, but I trapped the inner tube without realising it, and less than a kilometre from my house I blew out the tyre wall with a bang like a gun shot. I didn’t even try to repair it roadside, opting for ringing my excellent local bike mechanic instead.

      Since then, I bought this tool – a tyre bead jack – but honestly I’ve not even opened it. It’s still in the Amazon cardboard delivery box, in a pile of my bike kit right next to me. It might be the best thing I ever owned, but for the frustration caused and time I lost last time, I’m not even going to bother trying.

      Sucks, but at least neither of us were injured (I’m guessing – you didn’t say, hope not!) and in your case you learned something useful.


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