Saturday, March 19, 2011

Had a Flat, Saw a Rat

I planned a good 30 miles training ride Friday afternoon with two of my training partners, Richard and Bill.  We met at Harp,s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayette County at 3PM.  The weather was great, 82-degrees and sunny. 

The three of us setup our bikes and headed out.  Seven miles into our ride I had a pinch flat on my back tire.  Luckily for me I was prepared.  I had a patch kit and a new tube with me.  Richard and Bill removed the useless tube from the wheel and I got my spare tube from my pack.  That's when we realized that everything was not all roses.  The spare tube was for my other set of wheels.  The stem was too short.  Well, the patch kit should fix things right up.  The tube was prepared and the patch applied.  A low pressure test before installation was good.  In went the patched tube.  Just pump it up and we're back in business.  Nope!  Pump it up and listen to the air leak out is a more accurate description of what happened.

There I was, stranded on the side of the road.  At least it was a beautiful day.  Richard and Bill rode back to the church while I waited.  I had brought half a dozen tubes but they were in my truck back at the church.  During my wait I, pulled weeds, heard a rooster crow somewhere off in the distance, and had two people stop to offer assistance.  I also had the opportunity to extensively investigate the barbed wire fence-line and bathtub habitat of several field rats.  The three old porcelain tubs must have been a watering holes of sorts for cattle or horses that had enjoyed the field many years ago.  Now the tubs were full of muck and the fence-line was overgrown with privet, vines and stumps.  The field rats had made a network of walkways covered by a canopy of twigs to get to and from the bathtubs.

A few minutes later Richard and Bill arrived with the correct tube.  We changed the tube, I said goodbye to my new friends, and were riding again soon after.

In the past six months I've had two flat tires.  In both incidents I tried to repair the tube with the Genuine Innovations patch kit.  Both attempts were a complete failure.

Genuine Innovations Patch Kit
The components of the kit
I don't know if there is a patch kit that is worth buying but this kit probably isn't one of them.  I have no faith that these "glueless" patches will work in the future.

We ended up riding just under 27 miles.