I have been mostly working from home for a while now, but it’s good to go into the office once in a while, especially on bagels day, and it’s an unimpeachable excuse to spend a couple hours on the bike.
But when I went out to the garage this morning, I discovered a flat tire. Finally, the first flat on the new bike that I gave myself as a birthday present, October 2012. That may or may not say anything about the durability of tires, the condition of the roads or my skill in avoiding debris; it is certainly related to the fact that I spend a lot more time hiking nowadays than in times past.
Never a whole lot of fun, a flat at home is about as good as it gets, with a warm, well-lighted environment to perform the repair. Even a bathroom sink, if I need to immerse the tube to find the leak, which I did. But it was a rear tire, and I have to pull the skewer completely out because of the carbon fiber frame and, and, and… long and not very interesting story.
The leak was near the valve stem, possibly just due to material fatigue. In any event, repairs near the stem are pretty much guaranteed to be useless, so I just swapped in a new tube. Experimented with the mini hand pump, which I have never used before. Interesting how hot the business end gets as the tire pressure mounts, but I finished the job with a floor pump, which has the added merit of a pressure gauge.
So I was a bit late getting to the office. They had not run out of bagels.
On the way home, another flat! Damn! It never rains but it pours! Again, the rear tire.
At least the day had warmed up and I had a sunny spot to work in. Several passing cyclists slowed to check that I was okay, a welcome display of benevolence that’s normal in this community. We help each other out.
This time, there was a gash in the carcass where I had run across what was most likely a sharp bit of glass. It had gone all the way through and punctured the tube. Not a problem… until I discovered that the tube of cement in my long-unused patch kit had dried up. And there was a dearth of passing cyclists at the time.
Not to worry; I just put in the spare tube I always carry. I’ll patch the old one when I get a new patch kit. Flats go with the territory, no fun, but we just deal with them.