Preparing to head out for the papershop with the other half (he wasn’t daunted by last week’s front page news story about ASBO buzzard’s near neighbour and fellow cyclist harasser – and please note everyone suggesting a cycle helmet that if anything wearing one seems to send them into even more of a fury), I remarked casually about how I hadn’t wanted to take my pump out of my bag because the mere act of removing it would undoubtedly cause me to get a puncture. I then wondered briefly whether that would be enough to bring down the wrath of the puncture fairy, but I remembered we didn’t believe in her, so set off happily, and we were not harassed by any buzzards, although we were delighted by the sight of a bird of prey, probably a kestrel, swooping along the road ahead of us.

It was only on the way back that the other half noticed a splinter of wood had lodged itself in his tyre in a way that suggested removing it would not be a good idea four miles from home. And it was only as I waved cheerily to the hedgecutting tractor man that I remembered that Marathon Plus tyres are proof against many things, from broken glass to undoubtedly buzzard attacks, but they are not proof against blackthorn. No doubt having the not one but two pumps in my bag meant that we both got home before the air was entirely out of our tyres, but it was a close run thing. And it ‘only’ took me an hour to fix my puncture (including having to extract the blackthorn out of my tyre with my teeth) although I would like it noted that I did it All By Myself. And the other half hasn’t even started fixing his yet.

That said, nothing is fixed until it’s tested and fixed (as I used to say ad nauseum to my staff) so we’ll only know later whether I got my wheel on properly or not. Given my 100% record of not doing the bolts up tightly enough, I’m guessing ‘not’.

7 Responses to Flattened

  1. Two punctures on one ride? That’s unlucky. Well done on getting yours fixed. I was equally unfortunate on my way into work recently. I somehow managed to get what appeared to be a bolt lodged into my back tyre, necessitating a detour to the nearest bike shop to get both tyre and inner tube replaced (a pic of the offending object, still in situ: pic.twitter.com/Shq60DqFl7)

  2. disgruntled says:

    In hedgecutting season, two punctures on one ride is barely a blip.

  3. disgruntled says:

    but yikes on the bolt!

  4. commuterjohn says:

    Interesting what you say about the birds being more upset when you wear a helmet.
    I have started recently to wear a helmet after a lifetime of not wearing one but have noticed the seagulls get much more agitated now then when I was not wearing one. Up side is they are welcome to try dive bombing me now!
    PS This is not a convert you to wearing a helmet comment, It should always be a personal choice.

  5. Autolycus says:

    Punctures never come singly, do they? Somehow they seem to entrain all sorts of other things. The last one I had ended up with a new tube (forgetting I already had one in reserve), a new tyre, a new pump and the best part of a week of realising I must have got the damn thing kinked AGAIN and stomping off for a few hours’ grump. And I’ve a horrid suspicion there might be a slow one on the same wheel. The rear wheel, of course, and all that entails. Harrumph.

  6. disgruntled says:

    @john – I’m not sure having a helmet gouged by a buzzard is much of an improvement
    @fonant – sadly, Scottish Buzzards are more irritable than Australian Magpies and swoop on the helmeted and unhelmeted alike, although they do appear to be more persistent with the helmeted cyclist
    @Autolycus – the best thing to do with the redundant inner tube is to carry it around with you at all times, to prevent punctures

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