Monday, 7 November 2011

Baffling punctures and the woods

On Saturday morning, I discovered that I had a slow puncture on my hands, although, when I went out into the garage and discovered the deflated front wheel, I started wondering about whether it was possible for the bike to have a spontaneous puncture, meaning that, perhaps in the early hours of Saturday morning, it just decided it was time to deflate. Who knows?

The route from Andy's house to the woods.
Anyway, I figured it was a slow one and that, when I arrived in the garage at just gone 7am on Sunday morning, it would still be half-inflated. was flat and when I pumped it, it hissed. The slow puncture had speeded up as there was a hissing noise. I had a puncture to fix and I'd have to use my last 'Leech' (a heavy duty sticker for fixing punctures).

After calling Andy I whipped off the tyre, inflated the inner tube and expected to hear the same hissing, but no, it had gone and the tyre was seemingly fixed. There was no noise at all and I had to resort to the old bowl of water trick, but again, nothing. Was this, I wondered, a phantom puncture? In the end, I heard  something and noticed tiny bubbles on the dampened inner tube. Leech attached, wheel back on bike, Andy arrived and we headed off on my suburban 'Woodland Trek', which involves suburban streets and then the woods, which, at this time of year, looked the business: leaves, golden, all over the place.

We cycled along, dodging dogs, and then took a steep incline to the top, cranking the bikes into low gears. I lost momentum and had to walk a few yards before getting back on the bike and making it to the top.

You can see my house from the top of the woods. Andy and I sat on a wooden bench and drank our tea and once again the conversation turned to camping out, although the problem with Croham Hurst (that's the name of the wood) is that I've often seen police helicopters hovering above it and the occasional bonfire late at night, meaning there must be a few undesirables up there at night. Still, it would be an adventure.

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