A working bicycle pump is essential

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 at 07:44pm

I picked up a nail about halfway to work this morning.

In itself that doesn’t sound too bad except it was the rear wheel of my bicycle that picked it up. At first I thought I had just run over a stone that I hadn’t seen on the smooth asphalt but it happened a couple more times (as the wheel rotated) and I started to notice that my bike felt a bit wobbly and by the time I stopped it was fully deflated.

After some swearing I realised that it wasn’t that big a problem as I had everything required to fix it so I flipped the bike over and removed the rear wheel. A few minutes later I had removed the nail and the tube it had punctured and I set about fitting the spare tube.

It was here that I found a larger issue. The pump that has been attached to my bike for quite some time now didn’t want to pump. Thirty minutes later I arrived at work after walking for about four kilometres in my cycling shoes, not a terribly pleasant task.

So where did that leave me? At work with a bicycle that was functional except for a deflated rear type. Fortunately I knew one of the other regular riders carries a pump that I would be able to use. Was this the end of the saga?

No. When I fitted the tyre back on after replacing the tube I must have been careless with the tyre levers (they do have fairly sharp corners) as this tube also had a puncture, two in fact, which meant that over lunchtime I applied four patches, two for each tube.

Why two for the original tube? On the outside of the tube there was a single hole where the nail had penetrated. However on the inside there were five holes. As the wheel went through a few rotations before I stopped the end of the nail moved around and found a new place to put a hole. At least I was able to cover all of them with a single patch.

From that point on it was smooth sailingriding all the way home with the exception that it was a bit soft. Application of the floor pump I have at home rectified that.

So what now?

For starters I need to get a working pump. I should also get some new patches but I think I will buy a new repair kit as the tube of cement is almost empty.

(I may not be at fault for the punctures in my spare tube as I found a sharp bit of plastic inside my seat bag where I kept the tube…)

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