Sunday, March 18, 2012


I was very disappointed when I left work and found my rear tire flat. I have long passed being upset about fixing a flat. It's part of riding. But this was a Schwalbe Marathon with which "Punctures become obsolete"! I rationalized that I'd picked up a shard of glass when I navigated broken bottles which had fallen from an overly full Herby Curby® on trash pick-up day. Marathons have a reputation for long life and puncture resistance. The touring tire of choice. A priceless piece of equipment for touring. <sigh>

I'd found nothing sharp or pointy in the tire carcass and no obvious hole in the tube. With a spare tube in place the ride home was as uneventful as usual. That evening I plunged the tube in water and eventually found the tiniest of holes in the area where the valve stem meets the tube. It had not been a puncture, apparently, but a small hole in the tube. If I had refilled the tube without changing I could have made the ride home easily. Had the leak always been there and the real cause of the flat the act of a nefarious evil doer? A practical joke?

For me, the result is that I again trust the Schwalbes to keep me rolling. And if the flat was a physical defect in the tube or the act of someone, it doesn't matter much. Even if it had been the failure of the tire to protect me, it had done its job perfectly for more than 1000 miles. I once had two punctures in the same tire in less than 10 minutes. City streets can be figurative minefields of sharp things easily able to pierce lesser treads. I have used many less expensive tires and spent much more to keep rolling for 1000 miles than the $100 I invested in a pair of good tires.

There is a lesson in here somewhere and it is not solely about having good equipment. Even with good equipment stuff happens. I intend to travel more than 2000 miles at the end of the summer. How I handle adversity will define much of that event. Preparation increases the potential for success. Everything else is up to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment