Another day, another stressful bit of work I can do without on the bicycle. I went out round the Isabel trail, turned in to Halfords to buy a spanner, left the bike locked up and went to Wickes to look at paint stripper for Bike #2, came back and collected my bike. After crossing over a junction on foot I found I had a flat tyre, this time the front. I walked the bike back to the rack outside Halfords, and let’s say the cause of the puncture wasn’t too hard to spot this time.
Well as you can imagine, I wasn’t best pleased. No-one likes a puncture at the best of times, but this was my second in a week, on top of all the other problems. My tyres are not some cheap n’ nasty rubbish, I spent more than I could really afford to get some degree of puncture protection. I also bought a track pump so I could keep them inflated to the right level, and the inner tubes are pretty decent too. Nope, I’ve just lucked out – twice.
This time I was about two miles away from home, so there was nothing for it but to repair it ‘in the field’. True, I was right next to Halfords so if I was struggling at all or needed anything I could pop in. Anyway, as ever those Schwalbe beads are absolute bastards to get off and on, and it was a bit of a struggle. The complimentary track pump outside Halfords was out of order, but at least I had a spanner this time – I’d bought it literally ten minutes earlier.
After it was fixed I rode to the nearest cafe, which happens to be Nero’s and also happens to have a municipal track pump at the bike racks just outside. I pumped up my tyres properly, had a coffee and rode home. At least there’s one piece of good news from the ride – the path into town past the river is now passable again.
Also, despite everything I’ve done another 6 miles today which puts me fully 15 miles up on my schedule. So there!
*a phrase used by the Papa Lazarou character in the surreal comedy The League of Gentlemen when he gets fed up with a conversation.