After Todd's little lesson the other day, I got the chance to watch Hubby the Bikeman in action. On our way to Half Moon Bay State Beach we were sidelined by a flat. The funny thing about it was it happened on the wide, relatively clean shoulder of Highway 1 and not on the roughly 1000 foot climb over rocks, thorns and tree ruts it took to get there (more on that next time).
That tiny little wire, most likely from a car tire's steel belting, was what took out a Schwalbe Big Apple tire. It was so small it was almost completely buried in the rubber of the tread and took two of us to dig out.
James was going to just replace the tube, but I pointed out we were in no hurry so why waste a perfectly good tube? Especially if there was a possibility that there could be more wire shards in the tire. Because he was riding the Xtracycle (we had to ask to borrow it from our son now that it is his) and it was pretty loaded with gear, we didn't want to take the wheel off.
The hole in the tube was tiny so James had to put some spit on it to see if air bubbles would form to make sure this was the hole (the tiny bit of wire sticking out of the tire was not visible and only just exposed enough to be able to feel it with a finger). With the hole found, and patched and the offensive wire pushed, prodded and finally dug out of the tire with my Leatherman scissors, the tire went back on the wheel.
James is truly Hubby the Bikeman, King of the Flat Tire and All Around Good Guy. And I? What am I? I am fortunate to be able to lie down on the warm pavement and take pictures while James does the hard work! Yep, I am lazy. Although my camera is quite heavy.
We were back on the road in about 15 minutes. No biggie. A nice chance to sit back for a bit, listen to some music and breath the lovely ocean air. Just part of the bicycle touring experience which almost always manages to mix something great with something not so great.