Author Topic: Punctures 101


Punctures 101
« on: October 16, 2019 »
Years ago on a group ride, one of my first, I had a flat. This was back when such repairs were a major enterprise for me. The worst part wasn’t fixing it; the worst part was being in that spotlight.

Everybody’s sympathetic, depending on how many other mechanicals have preceded yours. However, a fumble may be enough to tip them into silently testy impatience (or so one imagines… or not). Now, if you’re on a FNRttC, you will practically be knocked over by people who will want to do the job for you. I don’t rightly recall if that was the case back then, or even if this was a Friday nighter - just that it was a group ride. I only remember that it was my puncture, and therefore, I felt it was my responsibility to do the deed.

Fortunately we were already stopped, so I wasn’t the cause of the loss of momentum. Still, we weren’t going anywhere until this got sorted. I got down to work.

My first mistake was not pumping a bit of air into the new tube to shape it. My second was not taking the advice of a quantum mechanic (people seldom talk about their work, but he could've been) that it would be wise to do so. For some reason, I simply refused. I can’t explain why. My best guess is that the act of observing disturbed the observed so much that his [my] brain simply froze and refused further input.

This in turn clearly disturbed the observer, to the point his hands were practically twitching to grab the tube from me to relieve their frustration. There was a kind of causal loop going. In the end I was forced to collect my things and seek privacy, doubtless leaving a baffled silence in my wake.

Punctures. To quote Adam the snakebitten tube wrangler: They do get easier.