Thursday, 20 March 2008


I've been nervous the last couple of weeks about getting a puncture. I guess I shouldn't have thought about it, or maybe it's because there's more daylight now and I've been seeing more detritus on the road in the cycling line. There's always some grit and stones and the odd bit of rubbish, but lately, I've seen much more glass, broken plastic and other crud. My bike tyres seem to have been bouncing around and pinging and popping on all these bits.

Around about last Friday, I came down the road and the line of rubbish was worse. I was following the path of aroad sweeper that had been down the road earlier that morning. The road sweeper is like a big vacuum cleaner with rotary brushes that bring the dirt out of the gutter. Like most vacuum cleaners, it must have needed its 'bag' changing, as many of the bits from the gutter were left right where I was cycling. I didn't notice anything untoward on my arrival home and put my bike away as normal.

It was only on Monday morning when I was getting the bike out, to set off for work, that I noticed the flat. Being short of time, I put it away and got my mountain bike out instead. That made a pleasant change even though it does require more effort. I can't remember the last time I had a puncture. It must be at least two years ago. By that reckoning, I've probably been lucky, but as a general rule for cycle commuters, it's not something to worry about or put you off cycling

Repairing the puncture was a lot easier on the bench than at the side of the road, where I would have just swapped the tube. And no, I didn't use a knife and fork like bok bok in the photo. It also gave me an opportunity to clean the rims and tighten up the brakes.

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