Make Do and Mend (Not You, Bike)

You’d think I would have learned by now not to taunt the puncture fairy … it’s just that you never quite know what will incur her wrath.

Like a simple tweet which was largely me feeling quite pleased with myself for tackling the fraying sleeves on a baselayer before they’d reached my elbows …

Regular readers will know I’m not one for fast fashion (or any fashion, really) and will try and get as much wear out of my clothes as is possible partly on environmental grounds but largely on hating shopping grounds. In an ideal world, this would involve looking after them properly to make them last, but in the world in which I actually live this tends to involve wearing stuff until I’m in danger of passing strangers giving me their spare change. So I was quite pleased to not just get round to tackling the repair but doing a reasonable-looking job of it as well.

Of course, having posted the tweet and headed out on the bike for an appointment it quickly became apparent that it was going to be more than my rudimentary sewing skills that I needed, for I had once again fallen victim to a Bastard Big Thorn.

You’d think by now that living in the land of BBTs and using my bike as my main means of transport would have left me a little bit more practised at fixing a puncture, even with Marathon Plus tyres. And yet, I still can’t manage to do this comfortably in under an hour. I have at least worked out (this has taken me ten years, but I get there in the end) that once you have taken the wheel off the bike, it’s a whole lot more pleasant – and actually easier – to do the tyre wrestling and puncture fixing indoors in winter, but that would appear to be the sum total of my progress. During the same period I’ve learned to knit even quite complicated things and make sourdough bread. It’s almost as if the gender stereotypes are out to get me.

Although, having said that, on reading this piece of utter baddassery, I have learned that sewing skills can actually come in handy when the Puncture Fairy really gets serious.

5 Responses to Make Do and Mend (Not You, Bike)

  1. welshcyclist says:

    It seems your puncture fairy is back with you, rather selfishly I’m glad, because for the last few weeks she has been stalking me. Still my puncture fixing skills have improved, it only takes me half an hour nowadays. Except for the hours spent trying to use patches that had, what I can only assume had past their best before date, or maybe I was using them the wrong way round. It’s not that easy! Cheers.

  2. kendal grufties says:

    Hi, Town Mouse, just wondered if you always take your wheel off when puncture-mending? I’ve been watching my husband mend punctures for over 40 years now (and I now do my own if we aren’t in a rush!) and he rarely takes the wheel off, usually only if it needs a new inner tube. We have hub gears mostly and we don’t have quick release wheels, so that might be why. Also we mostly have disc brakes which helps, but even on our brommies once we ease the brakes, you can usually wriggle the inner tube out so you can repump it up and find the culprit. Agree with your other commentor on self adhesive patches, give me glue anyday. Even more so since we stumbled on the idea of cutting up old inner tubes for patches.

    • disgruntled says:

      I’ve seen that done on the road, but to be honest, with marathon plus tyres getting them in somewhere warm makes the whole thing easier, and I’m not about to bring the whole bike into the house (my hub geared Brompton goes to the bike shop …)

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