Tuesday, 27 October 2009

If I'm going to get a flat, it might as well be here

Got a bad case of the wobbles coming off the ANZAC bridge this morning - never a good thing to have when doing a fast descent with 180 degree turns. I thought the front tyre was going flat - as I went into each turn, it felt like the front tyre was about to roll off the rim sideways. I've had that happen once after an "explosive decompression" of a tube - ie, a total blowout where all the air left the tube in a second or two. One moment, you are riding on stiff rubber that has plenty of grip - the next, you are riding on two thin metal rims, and have lost all steering and most of your braking power. If you are competent and lucky, you will avoid visiting the local medical clinic to have bits of road scrubbed out of your skin.

I was looking at my front tyre as I went around the bends, and it seemed to have plenty of air in it, so I couldn't figure out what was going on. My next thought was that I had warped a wheel, and it was bending as I cornered.

Thankfully, it only took a moment longer to figure out that the back tyre was down to about 20 psi (from the usual 100psi) and it was time to pull over and get out the tyre levers and such.

Just next to the Channel 10 studios is a nice little office garden area with a cafe on the corner. I plonked myself down on a wooden bench and proceeded to change out the tube. Behind me was a boxercise class in progress. In front of me, businessmen had early morning coffees and farted around with their Blackberries. I sat there, comfortable for once, steaming and sweating and hoping it wouldn't rain (I had too many layers on for the weather, and looked like I had just exited a sauna).

Did I grab a coffee from the cafe? Duh. I should have, just to try it out. But I was too intent on fixing the flat and buggering off. I really should learn to stop and sniff the coffee in the morning.

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