Time to get serious about my training if I’m going to ride 385 miles of the East Coast Greenway over six days come October. So today three of us headed into the hills and tacked on an extra 10-mile loop to our usual route to give us 50 miles.
We were just about to start on yet another hill when I heard a strange clack, clack. No, it wasn’t the sensor and reader for my cycle computer touching. We looked a little closer and discovered my tire had bulged out on one side and was hitting the brake pad. How this happened somewhere after mile 30 and not at the start is beyond me, but the easy solution was to let out some air, get the tire back inside the rim and pump it back up.
First we struggled to get the mini pump to properly attach to the valve. We even tried with another pump. Then we struggled to get the pump off. Air out. We tried again. And we let out all the air. And then we couldn’t get any air in.
What had we done?
With all that wrestling to get the pump off, the guys (because it wasn’t me!) had actually pulled the valve out of the inner tube! This one was history. And we were miles and a long uphill and downhill from the nearest bike shop.
Fortunately someone (not me!) had a spare tube. Once again, no air.
It turns out that one had a small cut, caused perhaps by tools tucked in alongside it in the under-seat bag. We could quickly patch it, which I did, but fortunately another someone else (again, not me) had a spare tube. By this time we’d had enough practice with the pump and — phew — at the end heard the satisfying “pop” as the pump came off cleanly.
Back on the road!