Thursday, April 1, 2010

Expensive Lessons

Today I had to go to work to do some rubbish, so I decided to ride, since I haven't done commuting to work in a long time. It all went well, and in fact, very well. The traffic was very low, and the air was cool. It was almost perfect. Until I hit a flat. That's where it all went wrong.

I hate flats. But this time, the flat caught me freaking off guard. I had my repair kit, so no problem, I thought, I'll go to my workplace to fix it. I decided to ride the last 3 km on a flat Schwable Kojak. Bad idea.

Reaching there, I tried to fix it, and it turns out I have two patches, and two pinch flats, or so it seems. OK, so I thought, I'll patch them. Easy enough. But the problem is, while remounting the tyres, I noticed I messed up the sidewall. The Kojaks are so thin on the sidewall that they cannot tahan much. That three kilometres were enough to expose the casing and destroy the pinstripe pattern. And these tyres haven't had much more than 100km on them. Expensive lesson one: never ride with a flat racing tyre.

No matter, sidewall blown still can ride. I tried remounting the tyre. No problem. But when I tried pumping air into the tyre, it was seriously unusual to hear a hiss, since I have covered all the holes in the tube. I took the tyre out and saw the problem - my previous patch has worn out, or maybe cannot tahan the 90psi the Kojak needs, and has leaked air. What's more, hard pumping with a mini pump has left a crack in the valve. Expensive lesson two: don't be a cheapskate, change a tube, especially on high psi tyres.

By this time I already felt sibei sian, feel like just burning up the bicycle and dumping it in the bin and take a cab later when I go home. But there was a silver lining. I had a tube! A spare tube. 'Great! I thought to myself, suddenly feeling a whole lot better. This time i mounted it, and it went in perfectly. It didn't leak at all, and was getting harder with each stroke of the mini pump (insinuating, I know). But after a while, the dreaded hissssssssssssssssssss sound was back. Fuck. Again, I broke the valve. This was terribly annoying, as it meant that I lost all hope of riding home later, and have to find alternative transport, which is always worse than riding a bike - cabs (expensive), buses (slow, crowded), trains (not near my workplace). Expensive lesson three: Be gentle with minipumps, they put a lot of force on the valves.

 I'm pissed. Quite angry at myself and the Kojaks for having low flat protection despite running it at optimum pressures. Of course, the Kojaks are not to be blamed as me blowing up TWO valves in one repair, which totally made 'repair' a misnomer. The most sian thing is I cannot ride home!


  1. Argh! I ganna puncture today also! Right smack in the middle of a busstop... Bah!! Feel ur pain..

  2. You think you're like Lance Armstrong ah? Finishing the last 10km of Leadville 100 on a flat. The difference is, he did not have to take care of his bike after he reached the finish line :P

    I hate flats too, and if it happens to me, I'm surely pissed.