First Flat of the Year
Yup, yesterday I had my first flat of the year. It happened only about a mile from my house.
Strangely, I enjoyed fixing the flat. This is the first time I found fixing a flat fun. I have become competent at fixing flats with lots of practice but for the last few years just haven’t had many.
Being prepared made a big difference. I had the equipment listed in my Tire Repair Tools Post and that made me feel confident and helped me relaxed. The other thing that helped a lot I had no time pressure. This was a legs loosening ride after a bad calf cramp a few days earlier and I had no need to get a long ride in.
A few other things that helped:
1. The weather wasn’t too hot
2. I was near a safe place to get off the road, away from traffic
3. I had a cloth to keep my hands clean when I removed the wheel and hand cleaner to clean up with when I was done
4. I got to try out Park’s Self Vulcanizing Patches, they worked great and that was fun
5. My Road Morph pump worked great. The pump gauge dramatically under registered tire pressure but I had a tire pressure gauge. The second gauge kept me from pumping forever. After about 90 strokes the tire felt firm enough. The Road Morph gage read 50 PSI but the Tire gauge said 75PSI (75 PSI was more consistent with my feel of the tire and was verified at home)
6. My tire levers worked great, getting the tire off was a breeze. I love those Crank Brothers Speed Levers
I had a bit of trouble finding the hole in the tube and never found the cause of the flat. Although I did remove a small sharp stone from the tire. The tube had a very thin 1/4 ” long gash that could only be seen when the tube was inflated quite a bit. Usually I can hear the leak but noise from the nearby road blocked out any hissing from the tube.
I really like the Park Self vulcanizing Patches. I know these are a throw back and take a bit longer to apply because you have to wait for the glue to dry. But the patch looked much more secure and effective than the Band Aid type of Park Patch I have been using.
I never thought I would say having a flat was fun. I have had 50 mile rides with 5 flats. I once had 4 flats while riding and Double Metric Century and cursed the Road Gods. Flats used to make some rides hell, but it felt pretty good yesterday.