3 punctures in a single ride and dreams of tubelessness!


More mud but the weather was so much better the weekend before`
Having "missed out" on what turned out to be a great ride the weekend before, G and I decided to repeat my ride and see if it was really that good or if I was just embellishing the details to spite him for ditching me at the last minute and leaving me to ride solo!

Unfortunately, while the route was to be the same, the weather was somewhat different - 3c ish and windy for pretty much all of the ride.

We got an early start and met at the Abbotstone Down car park (just off the B3046) at 7:30am with the promise of "no rain" being all that we could really hope for.

After raving about the previous weekend's ride G was keen to see if it was all I made it out to be and we set off in good sprits on the first downhill section following the Wayfarer's Walk along Spybush lane to Brown Candover, before starting the first section of climbing along Church Lane and then staying on the Wayfarer's Walk on a rolling 2-3 miles.

The trail had dried out a bit since the previous weekend which was good as, just in the same way that I'd omitted to tell G about the few vicious climbs, I'd forgotten to mention the 2 or 3 really muddy sections that caused me no end of cursing and burning calf muscles when I rode it last.

The ride was going well until about 10-11 miles in when G managed to pick up a puncture in not just one but both wheels at the same time - some good work!  Changing punctures does not normally bother me to be honest but we managed to stop on an exposed section of uphill with nothing but open fields to the left and right of us and the wind was cutting across the fields pretty much straight through us while we were trying to figure out what had puncture the tubes and, once located, extract the small thorn head from the inner wall of the tire.

After what felt like an hour and with hypothermia setting in (well in my head anyway) but was actually closer to 10 minutes we headed off again - pedalling hard to try and warm up again.

However, less than 2 miles along the track G punctured again...  Another thorn head that wasn't possible to extract from the outside of the tire.  And so ensued some trailside DIY!  We cut off the valve (with a flat head screwdriver from my multitool because of course I'd left my Leatherman in the car hadn't I?!) from one of the punctured tubes and then split the tube lengthwise and used it to line the inside of the punctured tyre before putting in a new tube and inflating.
The theory being that as we couldn't totally extract the thorn this extra layer would stop it puncturing the new inner tube and would at least get us home/back to the car.

Back on the road/trail again G was suffering from that most horrible of cyclists experiences called the "bonk".  For those of you that don't cycle or who do but are lucky enough never to have experienced the phenomena known as "bonking" it basically means totally running out of energy - completely.  You have nothing left to pedal, curse, cry or even look straight. It's horrible.

So, at mile 15, near Bradley, we dived for the road that would take us to Preston Candover and followed this (with me lending a hand on the hills) the 6 miles or so back to the car park - by this point G was, to use the technical term, bolloxed and my legs were screaming at me from the "assist" on the hills we'd covered back to the car.

A comedy moment followed while we were rapidly putting bikes in/on cars and packing kit away for the drive home as a very friendly runner past us and stopped to chat about cycling and the routes he'd done in the local area.  G was very obviously not wanting to talk and I was almost getting into the driver's seat before he realised that chatting wasn't high on my priority list and waved goodbye and ran off.
So apologies to that runner whoever you were, I'm not normally that miserable but I just needed to get home!

Today's ride was a lesson in something.... Nutrition and, oh, yes, tubeless tyres!  I'll be converting my tubeless ready tyres as soon as the bottle of Stan's No Tubes arrives...

Ride details - recorded on my Garmin Edge 800
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