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my first flat tyre

My first flat tyre is something of an anti-climax. I have been dreading a puncture because, impossible though it may seem, I haven’t needed to repair one since I was about nine-years-old.

On this trip alone, over five thousand kilometres have flowed under my wheels without incident but as I take off after a short roadside break my rear end has a decidedly unusual wobble. I glance down at my back tyre which is rapidly deflating. I pull over, strip the panniers off the bike and find my pump and repair kit.

My nine-year-old self wrestled considerably with this process and was, quite possibly, defeated by it since I have no memory of a satisfactory outcome. However, the intervening years have clearly provided me with more skills, co-ordination and strength and the business is over with in less than twenty minutes. Wheel off, tyre levered off the rim, offending shard of glass located and removed, inner tube out, hole identified, glue applied, patch fastened, tube returned to its place and – the part I was really anxious about – the tyre levered back onto the rim.

The only error I made was to pump up the tyre before replacing the wheel and it didn't fit back between the brakes.

The only error I made was to pump up the tyre fully before replacing the wheel and it didn't fit back between the brakes. I had to let some air out and pump the trye up again when it was in place.

All in all, the whole thing went very smoothly and I rode off feeling quite pleased with myself.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Lucie Bartosova | October 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Well done Anna! I’ve seen it done but have never done it myself. Isn’t it great to find out how many things you can manage yourself! It always gives me a sense of a huge accomplishment to learn to fix something. Are you in SF by now? It looks like that according to the route you are showing on Google maps.

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