Cycling is like life. Cycling with no goal is meaningless. What meaning is there cycling in circles? Or living aimlessly? Meaning comes from direction and destination. Join me in my life's journey on a mountain bike :)

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Perpetual punctures

Oct distance: 992 km

Woodlands, 61 km. The past few days, I patch and replace innner tubes. Pump them up at night, find them flat the next day. Find more holes, patch them, pump them up. Check tyre, find bits of glass and stone, gouge them out. Tubes still go flat, including from where the rubber meets the valve. Must've done this at least six times. I run out of tubes, buy new ones. Bikeshop man says, things aren’t the way they used to be. Inner tubes aren’t latex anymore, they have a shorter lifespan. Perhaps that’s why holes keep appearing when I pump my fat tyres to 50 psi. No point fixing the tubes anymore. Is that what happens to people too? Under pressure, they deflate. You can patch them, but some just go. And tubes have to be the right size for the tyre - unless you’re out of tubes and have to make do. And when you make do, the tubes eventually go.

I stop by my regular mechanic to replace the chain (the other shop has a tool that tells me the chain is so worn, a new chain will skip). Regular bikeshop man says if the chain skips, it’ll be because of the smallest cog; just run the chain for a few months on other cogs. Indeed, the chain skips like a happy school girl out of school on her way to get a new dress.

Bikeshop man might’ve saved my life too. He says my tyre is frayed. Huh? It just looks like a scratch to me. He holds it to the sky and ... light comes through in places. It's as if someone took a sewing machine needle to the tyre. He says, just a bit more pressure and it’ll go boom. Imagine that, if I’m whizzing downhill beside passing traffic.

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