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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Three Punctures in Two Weeks

(Wow, that's an old photo... I've put handlebar tape on the bar ends since then, and covered part of the frame in black electrical tape.)

Good old Ninja Bike... I've gone through three inner tubes in the last couple of weeks.

The first one was kind of my fault. My rear inner tube must have been a bit worn around where the valve stem met the rubber - the largish wheel light thing I had on the valve probably didn't help. So I was man-handling it one morning, whilst trying to pump it up, and the valve came loose from the tube proper, and the tyre went flat in a matter of seconds. I was pissed off, pumping the tyre was the last thing I had to do before riding to work! I stripped off my cycling gear and hopped in the shower instead - I usually shower at work.

So I bought an inner tube the next day, and pulled off the back wheel and the tyre. I noticed that whoever had reassembled the wheel back when I got it about eighteen months ago had neglected to put rim tape on the wheel. Rim tape runs around the whole diameter of the wheel, and protects the inner tube from wearing on the wheel itself. So the inner tube I pulled out had many little pimples on it where the tube had pushed into the spoke holes.

I found a spare piece of rim tape on my old wheel, which had been doing service in the back garden as something for beans to grow on, and popped that on my wheel - pulling all the spider webs off it first. In retrospect, this may have been a bad idea.

Having re-assembled my bicycle, the next day I rode to work. As I was riding home, I noticed my ride getting noticeably harsher. And looking down... My back tyre was flat! I was close to home, so I pulled into a deserted car park and got Deb to come get me in the car.

Inspection of the tyre revealed a lovely chunk of glass, shaped like a claw, jammed deep into the tyre and into the inner tube - so it was something of a coincidence that I'd got two flats in two rides.

Late night bike fixing = filthy hands! #bikes on Twitpic This led to some filthy hands!

So, after getting yet another inner tube, I set off on my ride this morning... Only to note some 20 minutes into the ride that my back tyre was flat again! I stopped and pumped it up a bit, then made a detour to my favourite bike shop. Which is sort-of on the way to work.

Once there, I told them the whole story. When you start getting multiple punctures, it's generally time to get a new tyre. So I went the whole bundle - got a new tyre, new rim tape and a new inner tube. The mechanic said he found the puncture on the inside this time, which suggests there was something sharp still left on the rim tape when I put it on the wheel! D'oh! Ah well, I have an excellent tyre now, which is practically impenetrable.