Punctures

Got another flat – or as the Brits would say “a bloody puncture” – on the Gardin today, my fourth in half as many months. That’s way up from my like 0.5 flats/year average over the last decade. I’m certainly not fatter or something. It’s really a combination of less-than-steller replacement tires – which I put on after my high school-era Armadillos finally started shedding chips of dried and cracked rubber – and a lack of a high-pressure floor pump. I.e. the last two flats have been pinch flats. Snakebites. As in I hit a small curb and the tube just didn’t have the strength to defend itself, instead buckling under, pinching and squishing itself between the rim, tire and road, thus two little slits next to each other weezing 80psi all over Cedar Hill X on Thursday and on McKenzie this afternoon.
To the bike’s credit this afternoon I should confess it may have been my fault, the flat. I changed the Thursday blowout this morning with a new tube and didn’t check the tire. The novice mistake. I was even thinking about how so many riders wouldn’t know the proper way to change a flat (racers included). I was even thinking in my head how I’ve changed so many flats in my lifetime (working at bike stores) that I know all the steps, tricks and procedures. From freeing up slack for the final lip without tire irons to lining up the tire label with the valve hole. But this a.m. I figured I knew what caused the previous flat, no need to spend 0.5 of a minute and run my fingers along the inside casing and feel for sharp angry things and/or look for a hole. But so as I’m riding back from my Sunday meeting with zero one, riding on a flat bumpless road and the tire goes psteeeerrreeerrrererer and I stop and spin the front wheel until the psterererer is coming at my frowning face, I see there are like two nice sidewall slits on the 3-month-old tire that probably appeared there on Thursday when I actually did smack into a little curb and so I screwed up today and put a new tube into a botched tire that lasted for 10 minutes and so then I had to ride from McKenzie/Pat Bay to my place trying to sit back on the saddle as the bike’s front end goes k-think k-think k-think on every crack in the sidewalk.

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