Never let the flat tyre deflate your spirits; I am sure most cyclists dread a flat tyre. But if you are well prepared and quite aware then its a matter of fun fixing your flat tyre, while sitting on the side or under a shady tree on the road. If you are a passionate cyclist, then you have to take it in stride with a sportsman’s spirit. You have to learn how to enjoy all related issues of cycling i.e. degreasing of chain, flat tyre, puncture after puncture sometimes, a fall, etc. Just like you do in marriage !
Recently, I cycled 55 kms to my home town to see my father, who is an avid cyclist even at 78 years. One my return trip, just 2 kms short of my base, my rear tyre got flat. I tried to pump air but it did not work, air leak was good. I opened my waist pouch, which had my puncture kit and some other essentials. Here I realised that I had packed my puncture kit sort of casually, means I did not check back properly like an army guys should, if all the items were there. I never expected a puncture on a good road. I did not have tyre openers. I had to push the cycle home !
This incident made me damn serious about the puncture kit. I also discovered from few Blogs that Slime Skabs are the most useless and horrible patches one can carry. In India, I feel the ones made by OMNI are the best.
Puncture is inevitable for a cyclist, better it is to have a good puncture kit in place. I found that many dread it and wish that they do not face a puncture. Nowadays, when most have no time to waste, one must be well prepared for such an event of a flat tyre. One need to know how to fix a puncture trouble without any external help. Its damn easy … but may not sound easy at first. Best is to be prepared well in advance, don’t be caught unaware.
Many years ago, when I saw my father fixing punctures at home, we giggled and called our father `kanjoos’ (miserly). But he did it for valid reasons : since there was no cycle-shop in the near vicinity so it was to save the hassle of dragging the flat cycle to a cycle shop, save time, assured quality of workmanship at home, save some money as well (in those days every penny did matter), etc. I admire him now, he was way ahead of his times, as always for many things in life. He has taught me lots of valuable things about life being father and he has been my teacher as well upto 5th standard.
Here is how you have to go about handling the situation, which needs your attention much before you place your ass on the saddle of your cycle to paddle it. One should have a portable puncture kit with a small handy air pump and know its each item well. My suggestion is that you must have tried fixing one puncture at home, before you .
Useful link with photos about how to fix a puncture.