The Puncture Fairy always Knocks Twice

Huh. Did I say I’d be taking my big bike to Newcastle? Silly me. I was heading out for the paper this morning – a glorious, glorious May morning, all scented with bluebells and loud with birds – when badumm, badumm, badumm, I became aware that I had a flat. Hmm. I didn’t have much time for cycling, as I had a busy day so I took a chance and pumped the back tyre up as hard as I could to see if it would hold.* Hold it did until I got the paper shop and part of the way back when badumm, badumm, badumm – down it went again. What followed was what I’m rebranding the ‘puncture full body workout’: pump up tyre as hard as possible, hop on bike, pedal as hard and as fast as you can until it goes flat, hop off, pump up again, rinse and repeat until the interval between one flat and the next gets so short that you’re better of walking home (about a mile away in my case).

Well, no matter, I’m a big girl and I know how to fix a puncture with only a few appeals for help from the other half, so I left my bike out by the bench thinking I’d get to it later and have a nice excuse to sit in the sun waiting for the glue to dry. Lunchtime came around, and I was sitting on the bench eating my sandwich and enjoying a break when pfffffffffft. A strange noise. A noise exactly like air coming out of a tyre. Except that my bike was just sitting there unridden and couldn’t possibly have got another puncture.

Except that it had. According to twitter, this can happen, especially when your inner tubes are more patch that tube and your tyres heat up in the sun. I can’t say it’s something I’d ever heard of, but then again, my bike doesn’t get to spend a lot of time in the sun. So now I have two flat tyres and what are clearly some dodgy inner tubes and I have decided it might be time to treat myself to some new ones.** So it looks like the Brompton SHALL go to the Cycling Embassy Ball after all. Here’s hoping all that pumping has done wonders for my upper body strength…

*I’m not entirely sure what sort of magical self-healing puncture I thought I had, but you know, maybe one day tyres will just fix themselves. It might happen. It never has though

** inner tubes, not bikes. Although…

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6 Responses to The Puncture Fairy always Knocks Twice

  1. I had a sidewall blow-out on the way to work, after doing a bit of work on the Brompton so I wouldn’t be ashamed of it in Newcastle. Thankfully the tube was doubly punctured so I’m hoping I’ll be ok.

  2. Jenny Mayhew says:

    Surely the boffins can make a self-fixing tube – maybe a spin-off of cloning.

    Alternatively, can’t you get tubeless tyres for Bromptons? They’ve been saving mountain bikers’ bacon for years now.

  3. Andy in Germany says:

    I thought you were using puncture-proof tyres these days?

    I must admit I’m not sure I could do a traditional puncture repair, partly because I don’t get many punctures since getting more solid tyres, and when I worked at the bike shop I got into the habit of just changing the inner tube if I got a puncture. It’s quicker and it means I can check the wheel and be sure it will work properly (and to be fair, I get the tubes cheaply from my former employer)

  4. disgruntled says:

    The only bit of a puncture repair I feel at all competent at is sticking the little patch on! Although apparently not even that…

  5. hunnymonster says:

    I have 3 spare tubes… one of which I carry with me, when I get a puncture out and about, I swap the tube. Quick release wheelnuts for the win (oh and 2 sets of crappy plastic tyre levers that are only strong enough when used in pairs)

    Then when I get home (or wherever) I repair the punctured one and pump it up to about 40psi and leave it hanging in the garage. The third tube (being the one I repaired last time) should have remained inflated… that now becomes my new “carry spare”

  6. Lurker says:

    I had the exact same pfffffffffffft experience yesterday, on the way back from Loch Lomond to Glasgow – only in my case I was standing innocently outside a Lidl with my and the other half’s bikes while he was inside foraging for cheesy twists (yum). ‘Pfffffffffffft’, I heard, and thought, ‘That sounds just like….., no, NO, it can’t be…’ But it was. Fortunately the other half had a spare tube, and more importantly the muscles to pump it up to a decent(ish) pressure with his teeny little hand pump. (I can do all the fixing punctures stuff, but not that last essential bit.)

    And yes, it turned out to be a blown patch.

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