14 October 2019

Puncture and two guardian angels

When I moved to Bethesda I did wonder how annoying it would be to have a puncture on the bicycle track in between the two towns! But the first year went fine without. And my first puncture happened at home. But one day I would surely find out. And that day came.

It was autumn and there was a lot of autumnal stuff on the path. Leaves, beech mast, that sort of stuff. And maybe more! I biked through a leafy patch, felt my wheel thud into something solid amidst the leaves, and heard the dreaded hiss. That was it! I had to try and fix this. Luckily it wasn't raining.

I turned the bike upside down and got my repair kit out. Then a lady passed. She shouted at me if I needed help? I said I'd be OK. I had the repair kit! But she offered to help and well, I did appreciate it. So she put her bike down and together we set to work.

Reasonably soon did I have the tyre off. And the hole was easy to find! So I put a patch over it. And then we had to get the tyre back on. That's not so easy. But then I used some force and popped the bead into place! And heard a disconcerting hiss. Oh dear. The eternal issue with that sort of thing. That when popping the tyre back on you pierce the tube! So we had to start again. This hole was also easy to find. And I only had a very large patch left but the lady had a smaller, self-adhesive patch. We put that on! And this time we managed to put the tyre back on without doing damage. I pumped the tyre up again. And then I was ready to continue!

I got to work without problems and hung the bike up in its place. When lunchtime came I checked the tyre; it was still hard. Good!

Then it was time to go to the pub to see Jenny. Time had flown by and I hadn't thought of the puncture for a while. I grabbed the bike and immediately felt the tyre had gone flat again. Crap! Now what? Try and fix it? Walk to the pub? I quickly sent Jenny a message (garbled by predictive text that doesn't understand Welsh) and carried the bike to the pub. Jenny is an avid biker; she would probably be OK fixing it, rather than sitting in the pub! And she was. So we went through the whole process again. The self-adhesive patch hadn't held! Oh dear. I only had one big one left. We put it on.

The plan was to fix the bike, then go inside for our Welsh session, and then check if the tyre was still firm when we would come out. But when we walked in I checked my watch; time was almost up! So instead Jenny offered me a lift. That was very nice! That saved me the risk of having the tyre go flat again somewhere halfway and having to walk home in the dark with the bike and on biking shoes. So it was unfortunate I had a puncture but two lovely people made it not a problem at all!

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