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How Not to Change a Flat on Your Bike

Posted May 26 2011 9:00am

Distance: 36.5 miles
Time: 1:58:09
Average Watts: 178 watts
Normative Power: 193 watts
Average Heart Rate: 151 bpm
Total Work: 1,261 kJ
Average Speed: 18.6 mph

This was supposed to be a 40 mile ride, but goodness, I had a flat. Then I punctured the tube when I was changing it out. I will get to that story in a minute.

This ride had a lot of climbing in it. I took my route out towards a town called Cedar Fort. This is a route I love. There is one section with a three mile climb that is probably about a 3.0% sustained climb and you really have to push your pace if you want to keep your average speed up for the entire ride. Through that section I averaged 235 watts. It isn’t much for some people, but it was a really good effort for me this early in the season.

So at mile 35 I passed these two gals and made sure I was friendly I always try to be friendly to people on a ride. I turned a corner and hit a rock that I thought was pretty small and about 100 yards later I heard the tale tell “pssst” that you hate almost as much as a horn from an 18 wheeler. I pulled over and the two gals pulled over to offer to help and I passed on their offer because I had a tube. I should have asked them to stay and hang out for a minute. You will understand why in a minute.

When I change a tire I only pull one bead off and leave one on to make the change faster, I was cruising through the change and put my tube inside the tire, started putting the second bead on the rim, and got my CO2 cartridge all put together. I inflated my tire and all I could hear was air escaping. Hmm…must be a loose valve. I reinflated the tube and this time it was a “pssst”…I thought to myself, “glad I have a SAG crew to call to come pick me up. I got a snake bike right by the valve. My tube was screwed.

So what did I do wrong? When I was putting my tube back onto the wheel, apparently I pinched the tube too much with the tire lever. You have to be careful when you are changing your tube, especially when you only carry one. I let my goal of speed allow me to slip up on my protocol that I usually follow, especially when changing a flat. You can’t allow this to happen because when you are carrying one tube, you only get one chance. The SAG wagon showed up and I didn’t have to do the “ Walk of Shame “. Changing a flat on a bike isn’t tough, you just need to take your time…

Hopefully this is the only flat of the season.

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