As the Joni Mitchell song Flat Tires goes “you dream flat tires, dream flat tires, dream flat tires” well I did more than dream it I lived it.
On Sunday I get the Scott road bike out for my usual ride at 7.15am. Check the tyres and the rear is a little soft. Not a problem, put some air in it. I start to pump and it get harder. Just as I am getting to a point where its at the right pressure it starts to go back down again. Try again same thing. Its starting to get late I need to meet my friend Steve, so have another go and get it to a reasonable pressure and off I go. Within half a mile of home I can feel every bump in the road through the wheel rim. I only have a small emergency pump, which I have never tried before so don’t want to risk it going down any further. So I decide to press on as it is, and complete my Sunday 24 mile ride. By getting out of the saddle when I spotted any unavoidable bump it wasn’t too bad, but a little slower than usual. On Tuesday evening I blow up the rear tyre ready for Wednesdays ride after work, same performance as Sunday. Eventally after a lot of heart ache and some bad language it seems to be reasonably hard. Wednesday morning riding into work its back to square one, riding on the rim over every bump. By now my language is not very nice, and I’ve taught myself a few new words to descibe the back tyre. I attempt to blow it up when I get to work, its now softer than when I started (air is blue). At lunch time I have another go using the emergency pump. If I screw it onto the valve part way it lets out more air than I am putting in, if I screw it right on I can’t compress the pump, someone is taking the piss here! Eventually with it adjusted to a mid point I get the pump to work, and it starts to go up, but still leaks out above a certain pressure. I get changed after work and set off on my long ride. A couple of miles into the ride I have had enough of the the constant clunking as the rim bottoms out on the slightest bump. I decide I must have a slow puncture and turn towards home to fix it. My wife Jill is suprised to see me as I was two hours earlier than planned. I change and set about tackling the tyre. Wheel out, tube out, blow it it and check for leaks, nothing! Put the tube back in and try to blow it up same performance. Whats wrong with this F…ing tyre. Eventually after a lot of trying, I find the only way the pump will work is if I screw the valve out to the maximum, fit the pump and blow it up. Success the tyre inflates beyond my widest dream, and is still up hard this morning. Its been frustrating but I am glad I know how the pump works before I need it on the way to Paris in three weeks time.