I’ve had my blue Bianchi Eros road bike for at least 6 years. So I’ve been riding my road bike for at least 6 years, some years with more frequency than others. After 6 years of riding, I still do not know how to change a flat tire.
F has shown me several times how to change a flat, and it’s not like I’ve never gotten a flat while riding. In fact, F recently reminded me of a ride during which I got not 1, but 2 flats. Fortunately for me, F has been with me every time I’ve gotten a flat, so he’s been the one to perform the speedy fix-ups.
This past week I embarked on a 2.5 hour training ride. I had a bad feeling before starting the ride. I had managed to go all season without a flat tire, but for some reason I felt like that day was going to be the day of the imminent flat.
During my first 10 minutes of riding, I pulled over 3 times because it had sounded and felt like I had run over something sharp. All three times my tires were clear. At minute 12, as I made a left turn through an intersection, I heard it…snap, crackle, pop! I pulled over to find my rear tire punctured with a nail. Within seconds, the tire started deflating. Aw, shit.
I got off my bike and opened up my little bike bag to get out my “tools.” What kind of tools, you ask? Tire levers? No. Multi-tool? Nope. Patch kit? Nah. Spare tube and pump? Negative.
My tools include my Blackberry to locate and call a cab and my credit card to pay my cabbie. I was home within 20 minutes.
Later that day a friend asked, “What are you going to do if you get a flat during your triathlon?”
You mean there isn’t a support van tailing me with a crew of bike experts ready to hop out and fix my flat in 30 seconds flat? No? Really? Ok, fine. I’ll start carrying some proper tools and I’ll learn to change a flat. Stat.