Boo and hiss.

For the first time in a while I felt like heading out on the ‘open road’ for a change. It’s been a warm day today, warm enough to go out riding in short sleeves and shorts.

And it felt like a good time to get away from the desk. With Wednesday’s ride being my ‘easy day’, I figured I could go out and do a casual ride.

The plan was: three laps of my usual local 10km route.

Just after getting started I hit traffic. Turned out to be a bin lorry up ahead, but it had caused a tailback. Not ideal being stuck on a busy road, crammed to one side, creeping forwards and desperately trying to avoid pot holes.

After that, I got cut up at the traffic lights and thought… sack this. So I cut onto the side streets and things seemed to be going fine. The sad part about this route is that it’s not especially flat. There’s one short, sharp climb in each lap and it’s quite a patchy road at best. Just like all the others, I suppose.

Anyway, I went up there and I heard a bang. The kind of snap / bang you hear when you ride over a twig. So I thought nothing of it.

Then I carried on, avoiding the dinner time pedestrians on the shared cycle way, before coming to the most ridiculous recent road change around here, where by they have trimmed the footpath right back, made it a shared bit with cyclists and then stuck a housing estate on the end.

As usual, today the crossing was blocked.

So, like a cowboy, I figured I’d go on the road and … err, bunny hop the curb.

Alas, if I had not popped my tyre earlier, the second time had to be the one that did it.

Cue a terrible bunny hop with my full weight landing on the rear. No bang. Just a thud.

And then glue.

Or soup.

Whatever, it was immediately obvious there was a problem. A cursory glance behind showed the punctured tyre, flat as a pancake.

Amazingly I did managed to fix this at the road side, but for reasons that allude me, I had put in a previously puncture repaired tube in the saddle bag. So now I have to remove the tyre again, and replace it with another new tube. I have no idea what I was thinking.

Fortunately the weather was nice, the light was bright, and aside from a bit of trouble with my tiny pump, things went about smoothly as they could possibly have gone.

Even so I managed a paltry 10km including the slow roll home. Overall I’m more frustrated than anything. It feels like such a wasted day.

Oh well, it is what it is. I should have stuck to the turbo. Can’t get a flat on Zwift.

6 thoughts on “Punk-ture”

    • I was asked recently about tubeless. Still not really sure how that works – figure they are not puncture proof, and more trouble / things to learn.

      To be honest I was quite pleased with myself for changing the tyre road side. Less so that the tube I replaced with was already ‘repaired’ and so I now have to change the tyre again. But at least I can do that from home, when I can be bothered.

      Sucks though. Someone should invent punctureless tyres, but I suspect it’s a conspiracy by Big Rubber to keep such a thing out of our hands.

      • I’m running tubeless with GP5000S. They are great with small punctures, but I’ve had a run of big-uns this year. Took the SL7 into work (first ride) for show and tell with the lads, ride home I caught a large piece of broken beer bottle. 10mm gash in the tyre, had to bin it.

        I’m gonna get some dynaplugs for the bigger holes, throw a plug in, a bit of air and you’re off again.

        One extra benefit of tubeless, you can bunny hop off kerbs and not pinch flat 😉

        Oh and they do make puncture proof tyres, Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Those things make your bike like those robot tanks in Terminator. Down side,
        they are slow AF on a normal bike, terrible rolling resistance.

        I have them on the missus ebike, she can’t change a tyre on the side of the road and I quickly got sick of rescuing her while I’m mean to be working lol.

        • At the roadside I couldn’t find the puncture. When I got home, I put the tube in a bowl of water and pumped it, and there was a good 2cm slit there. That reminds me actually, I not only need to replace my tube on the rear wheel still, but I need to put a new, fresh tube in my saddle bag.

          I’ve only had to bin one tyre case so far. When I got the replacement, a GP5000 also, I found that the new rubber is absolutely brutal on the thumbs. This time around, maybe because it’s a used tyre, or maybe because it was hot, it was a lot easier going on the hands. I hate changing them though. What a ball ache.

          Your SL-7 is a thing of beauty.

          I honestly reckon if you had to ride around on the UK roads you would think we were a third world country or something. It’s basically gravel riding unless you find a really really new road. Pot holes everywhere, really poorly maintained.

          An example – just one of many – https://www.google.com/maps/@53.7844629,-2.7082772,3a,75y,252.8h,75.57t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1D3A50u5PZJy5_46PzTLvg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu – all around on the floor there’s these bits where the tarmac is just falling apart. So as a cyclist I end up in the middle of the road to avoid this moon surface, which imo is super dangerous as people tear it down there. It’s often caused, I think, by the constant heavy machinery around the new build estates that are going up everywhere. They trash the road and then off to the next money spinner.

          Those Schwalbe’s aren’t anywhere near as chunky as I expected.

          I see a good number of riders around here on bikes like this:

          No idea what they are all about, but they seem very popular.

  1. Thanks! SL7 is sooo nice to ride! 30c tyres are a huge comfort improvement over the 25c on my SL5.

    Interesting you mention the state if roads. We have elections this year and the opposition has been campaigning on the terrible state of our roads. I think roads are pretty crap in most supposed 1st world countries.

    Dual suspension with fat tyres! Bet potholes are nothing to those things!
    They look like something the Yanks would love, just need somewhere to mount their handgun and good to go

    • 🤣🤣🤣

      Be a long while before the UK get to ‘roads’ as a deciding factor in the elections. The problem, as best I understand it, is that “road tax” is not actually used only for roads and transport, but dumped into the big pot of tax revenue and then spent / embezzled as desired. I’m sure the tarmac outside Number 10 is smooth though. FWIW I tried to check but they obviously don’t let the Google street view car up there. https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5030506,-0.1261886,3a,75y,294.4h,78.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1swEt9vMPu5zhTlN1lO3e4Lg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu

      I have no context for riding other bikes. I was only thinking the other day actually about saddles. I love this guys channel – https://youtu.be/pemw_E7viMU?t=311 – and he was on about a 3D printed saddle. It got me to thinking… basically I accepted the saddle that came with my bike as being the right one for me. Aside from going to a bike fit (where I assume you can try many saddles), then you’re down to going to a bike shop, hoping they have some on display and then basically squeezing them with your fingers and taking a rough guess.

      Same with tyres. I have no idea what bigger / smaller / fatter / thinner ones are actually like to ride. How odd.


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