I think my bicycle is trying to kill me.
On the weekend we had some beautiful sunny weather, so I decided to go for a little ride to Perth (about 50km round trip).
Everything was going fine, until when I was only a couple of kms out of the city, going at a rate of knots and approaching a bend that my front tyre collected a sharp thorn.
No real dramas there, right? Oh, except for the bend bit... and the rate of knots bit... and the tiny little sharp thorn bit. You put them all together and believe me when you're going around a corner with a flat front tyre you don't have the same control anymore - even with both hands on the handlebars!!
As I quickly (yet not too quickly) applied the brakes it made the turn all the more worse, the bar wobbled and sharply turned into my waist area... what was going to be an easy bend to negotiate around, now turned into a bend where I tried my best to negotiate avoiding crashing into the fence!
Thankfully I alighted off my chair and did a strange tippie-toe dance into the fence that saw me come to a sudden stop. If I'd gone a tad faster I probably would've flipped over the waist-high fence. (Now that would've been funny!)
Phew! No bleeding from the head this time, I thought to myself after backing away from the fence.
But now I was in a bit of bother - my front tyre had gone completely flat and I was pretty much close to the furtherest point from home (why do bad things always happen when you're at the most furtherest point from home??).
As I collected myself and walked to try and find a park bench a bloke no more than 100 meters from where I stopped was repairing his bike tube.
When he saw me he asked, "Did you get a puncture?"
I said I did and pointed to where I got it.
He came over and began surveying my tyre and we both saw the little culprit. As we pulled the sucker out I sware I heard it laughing an evil laugh.
"You shouldn't get punctures with a tyre like that," said the bloke pointing to my hybrid mountain bike.
I had to agree with him. I never once got a puncture from riding around down south, yet since moving north of the river I almost always get a puncture every few rides.
"Do you have any patches, or anything?" he asked.
I said I did but I needed glue.
"Oh, you can get patches that don't require glue anymore," he said, "in fact I've got some if you like."
And he went and checked his repair kit. It ended up being his last one.
Initially I refused to accept it, but he insisted...
"Where do you need to go?" he asked.
I sheepishly replied with, "Ah, Joondalup," knowing that it was probably just a small hop-skip-and-a-jump away for this bloke who was decked out in proper cycling gear and rode a racer.
"Whoa, dude, you're going to need this more than me," he said, "I only live just over in Mount Hawthorn." (A place that indeed was only just a hop skip and a jump away from where we were.)
So with that he gave me his last patch and I began applying the super-duper-sticky patch over the hole. As I did this he warned me that it might not work. He had applied a similar patch on the puncture he had and it did not work. After patching it up, I held my breath as I began to inflate my tyre.
Oh please work!
A 25km walk home is never something enjoyable... especially once the sun goes down because things get pretty cold pretty quick... and if you're clad in bike gear you don't have much fabric to keep you too warm.
"Everything good?" asked the bloke as I put in a few more punches of air into the tube.
"Yeah, it seems like it," I said testing the pressure with my thumb.
"Take it easy on the way back then," he said as he picked up his bike.
I thanked the bloke for his genoristy and kindness and we soon went our separate ways.
On the way back home I went slower than usual as anything that looked even remotely like a prickle I viciously swerved to avoid. It probably looked a little funny too, but in the end I made it.
So thanks dude. I hope you made it back safely too.
I owe you a super-duper patch.