Let’s talk about punctures. Pesky little things. I've suffered a proliferation of POPS of late. I may be deflated but I'm not defeated. I am out of pocket though having paid various folk to patch up my POPS.

Twenty years of daily cycling and I really should learn how to repair punctures. I remember childhood experimentations of spitting on an inner to see where the POP is, sticking on a plaster, and then bunny-hopping the afternoon away on my Grifter.

Was it really that simple?

But now I'm all fingers and thumbs when it comes to the puncture repair kit. Patching up a thick rubber balloon must be one of the few tasks where it seems that tech has made the task more tricky.

How the chuffers do you take the tyre off in the first place?

I fail at the forks and levers stage. I understand the concept of gently easing the rubber out of the rim ahead of the spitting stage [SFW etc.] I always end up taking three hours what it takes a bicycle mechanic minutes to achieve.

The inconvenience [ha!] of punctures leads me towards paying someone to put in a new inner. It's a false economy built around the concept of personal failure.

Still, it's got to be better than the four wheel option...

Recent roll outs on various bicycles across different locations all seem to lead to... POP.


Instead of a host of golden daffodils lining the estuary wilds or the streets of Sunny Stockwell, it seems that glass is growing around the verges.

I started to mentally map the broken bottle hotspots for my various commutes. I advanced this to writing them down so that I wouldn't forget. I even had ambitious plans to build some form of app that would log and alert you as to where the glass was seemingly growing.

But I became too busy jumping on and off various bikes, paranoid that every 100 metre stretch was a potential POP situation.

It never use to be like this. I once had a run of a decade [!] of London cycling without a single POP. All the bicycles were running with the industrial strength armadillo rubber.

I've still got the thick black stuff on the road bike. My cycling etiquette stretches to carrying a spare inner when riding in a group. I would soon lose any perceived cycling sense of responsibility when I pull over after a POP in the Essex badlands, and then ask if anyone would care to have a fumble with my rear black rubber woe.


And so yeah - I've suffered a proliferation of POPS of late. The Brompton is currently taking a breather, much in the same way that out of work actors take a rest.

Rubber recuperation.

04/02/14; 03:12:38 AM

Last built: Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 3:13 AM

By Jason A.Cobb, Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:12 AM.