I carry a spare tube so when I get a flat, I can just swap it out and be on my way quicker. Using this method, changing a flat add “only” about 10 minutes to my time into work or to home. On the way in Monday, I had multiple flats, which means that after I flatted the not-so-good-anymore tube, I got to sit under the canopy of a tree patching both tubes.

Normally, I’d inflate the tube and listen for the hiss. With the noisy route — I-90’s traffic roaring past — this was impossible. The solution I came up with was to divide and conquer: I’d physically twist part of the tube, pump it up, then repeat until I narrowed the leak to a small section. Then I could patch it. I’ve been a luddite in preferring the vulcanizing type of patches, but now I am seeing a lot of value in the glueless patches. They work well as long as I don’t try to jumbo-inflate the tube outside of the tire.


I should also stock the handlebar bag with latex gloves for wet-tire changing. The grime doesn’t wash off so well. It looks like I’ve been burying bodies. Again.

Because of meetings Tuesday and having to lug a big package to the post office Wednesday, I ended up driving. I don’t cope well with the traffic congestion. Worse, I am getting more visibly worked up when someone tries to “cut” into line, most often by not following the “zipper” pattern for merges, e.g., one car on the left, one on the right, one on the left, one on the right. I keep trying, unsuccessfully, to channel Claire’s relaxation thoughts. Really, though, I’d rather just bike.

The rain was coming down especially hard on the way home Thursday night, but it felt sooooooo good to be out in the elements. A lot of my work-induced stress seemed to wash away.

4,680 miles to date

5 thoughts on “Flats”

  1. I still don’t trust the glueless patches for some reason. Maybe I am just bad at application.

    I hear you on the driving though. I drove yesterday because of the weather and ended up regretting as I was sitting in an endless backup on East Lake Sammamish Parkway due to a multi-car accident. Think about that.. how do you end up with an accident like that on that road?

  2. Doug, The chief virtue of the glueless is they’re quicker to apply when it’s raining (meaning the tube doesn’t get as wet. I’m still wary of them.

    Wow, I’m having a hard time envisioning how a multi-car would occur on ELSP. Did someone completely disregard a traffic light? Or was there a caterpillar effect stop?

  3. Jim, do you remember my winter tire trick about cutting the beads off a tire and slipping it between the tube and outer tire?
    A little heavier but, much more protection. You could graph the time lost to change tube vs time lost with heavier wheel effect.

  4. I just put new tires on this morning. Continental 4 seasons with Mr. Tuffy liners. The Conti’s are folding bead-type tires, so it was Mr. Tuffy meet Mr. Floppy. It too far too long to get everything put together, mounted, and inflated this morning. My delay in my ride start time put me on the road just in time for the daily deluge.

  5. Many moons ago I was on a project in New York city five days a week which meant per diem every night. As nice as it might sound, eating out five nights a week for two months ends up being not that much fun. What being on this project also made us have to do was travel a lot: PATH train (New Jersey’s subway), ferry, NYC subway, cab, walk 25 blocks, you name it, we did it. One gorgeous fall night we were walking back to the corporate apartment, my boss and I, and we’d both had just a little too much cocktail at the jazz club. He turns to me and slurs “I miss driving. Don’t you miss driving?” I think I was polite and didn’t ask him just how drunk he was because no, I don’t miss driving. Ever. I’m not sure I want to be as out in the elements as you are but can tell you that now that it’s getting colder here I’m starting to miss my five miles a day walking pattern from the summer. Why did we invent the car again? 😉

Comments are closed.