Snakebit

3 02 2015

I’m snakebit.

Of the five rides I was able to achieve in January, two of them were stalled by flats. Friday’s ride up Burnaby Mountain included TWO flats.

There’s a lot of crud on the roads.

Even though we’ve had a relatively mild, snowless winter so far, the grit and grunge still builds up along the shoulders and bike lanes.

Friday, a day so mild I wore knickers, I knew I was in trouble when I spied the small chunk of jagged plastic or ceramic that shot out into the roadway as my rear tire rolled over it. Sure enough, 100 meters along I could feel the tire softening. Deflate-gate this was not.

I pulled off and gave it a pip with a CO canister, hoping I just had a very slow leak. A second pip and a quick inspection revealed the leak’s source, a cut in the sidewall, likely from that earlier shard.

Too cheap to want to replace a new tube I’d just installed after my previous flat, and too stubborn to admit defeat, I rode on in hopes the tire would hold up until I got home.

It didn’t.

I pulled off the road again and resigned myself to swapping out yet another tube.

Another winter ride, another flat.

Another winter ride, another flat.

Now I’ll admit I’m not the quickest tire changer in the world, and my fingers aren’t always strong enough to manually run the bead into the rim without a little help form my plastic levers.

And that’s where I got into trouble this time.

I took care to ensure the tube was properly seated in the tire and managed to get most of the tire into place. But a little tweak with the lever must have nicked the tube. By the time I got home, it too was softening. Snakebite.

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