There’s no doubt about it… when we decided to sell the car and travel primarily by electric bike I knew (without a doubt) that punctures would become part of our lives. Thankfully I’ve always felt quite comfortable fixing them and even grew up with a family story about my father once getting caught out and having to fix a puncture with a postage stamp. But I ask you… SEVEN punctures in just three months? That’s definitely more than I expected!
Mind you, I’m not surprised. Have you looked at a bike lane or bike path recently? Whilst I really appreciate their introduction around the state they do seem to be cluttered with a whole stack of spiky things (broken glass, prickles, burrs and who knows what else). I don't doubt some of it is discarded rubbish but I also assume a fair stack of it is simply thrown up by cars tyres or thrown down from trees and bushes.
The first day we got punctures Steve and I were cycling along a footpath which had just had the hedge next to it trimmed. Believe it or not within the distance of ONE block we both got a flat tyre! Then once we’d fixed both of those beside the road we each had a slow one appear, caused I think from another spike picked up on the same section of footpath. That was even without spikes being visually obvious.
Then Steve got another one last week (while we were in Carramar). That unfortunately appeared while we were nipping down to the shops and had forgotten to taken a repair kit with us! Thankfully we did have a pump though, and the tyre was kind enough not go down entirely before we got home.
Our last lot were only a few days back while cycling from Mandurah train station to South Yunderup. Holes caused again, I think, by prickles from plants! Steve’s puncture insisted on being changed mid-trip (thankfully we were able to find a shady tree), whilst mine was patient enough to wait until we were going out the next day.
Does Australia have more spiky plants than the UK or is it because we often cycle on paths as well as roads?
Either way - as readers of this blog post are no doubt telling us to do - Steve has just ordered a couple of sets of puncture-resistant inner tubes (something I was never aware of before now). They even come with a two year guarantee, so here’s hoping…
Either way, I can see my repair kit growing and quickly improving. Who knows, maybe I should put some postage stamps in it... just for good luck.