Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Half a commute

For the first time in what seems like ages (because it is) I got up and cycled to work. It was a little chilly and there were a few patches of ice/frost on the tramway but nothing to scare even the big jessie I am around ice.

My legs were battered from the turbo the night before so it was a nice steady spin. Just passing the Texaco garage at Lea Gate (which isn' even half way there) when I heard a little ping. A memory is triggered and I think that the last time I heard a noise like that I got a puncture and sure enough the back wheel started squidging. Grrrr.

Couldn't find anything in the tube and being right next to a quite fast and very busy road meant no chance of hearing anything. Checked the tyre loads of times but couldn't find anything which I hate, past experience tells me there is usually something lurking somewhere.

All back on with a new tube, get the CO2 out as my fingers are freezing and time is getting on as I set off a bit late anyway. I hadn't put the valve ring on and the valve just pushed back in as I tried to cryongenically freeze my already numb fingers instead of pushing air into the tyre, lovely. Noticed about half way through the canister..I thought..sorted it and got what I thought was a reasonable amount of air in. Put it all back and just about to set off, check tyre and its soft.

A bit of a dilemma...pump it up and hope it holds, replace with my other tube and hope it doesn't puncture, if it does I don't have many options apart from to call Jez who is already at work. I have sticky patch things as a last resort but if I can't locate the actual puncture site then they are useless.

Decide to take it all off again, pump loads of air into the tube whilst thoroughly checking the tyre, rim etc at least six times and still nothing. Tube still seems relatively inflated so take a chance and stick it back in and pump it up with the mini pump rather than waste another canister.

Pump it up so it reasonably passes the finger squeeze test (which is way out usually on road tyres) and it holds once I'm ready to ride. It actually got me all the way to work (about 9 more miles) amazingly without being topped up but it was a little soft.

I left home at 7:30 am and arrived at my desk at 9:27 and I still had to get showered and changed.

I dithered a bit about whether to ride home or not, tyre was most definitely softening but I topped it up during the day and it passed the finger squeeze test but it did soften again. I just didn't want to get caught out on the pitch black section of my commute so took Jez up on the offer of a lift. He reckoned the tyre was reasonably firm.

Got home and got the track pump on it....45 psi, a pinch flat just waiting to happen, that would've been an interesting ride home. Pumped it up to 100psi and have left it to see if it goes down. Will have to have a thorough check of the tyre and possibly replace as there were a couple of deep cuts in it.

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