On two rather long bike rides recently, rides where I was not within walking distance of home (or the car) I was unlucky enough to have a flat tire. Not a sudden blow-out but one of those pesky slow leaks that lets you down gently, but definitely without air in the tire.
The first time it happened I was in western Maryland, read about it here. Last weekend I was riding from Bethesda, Md to Georgetown, D.C., a distance of about 8 miles. As I arrived at the Georgetown end of The Capitol Crescent Trail I began to feel the tell tail sloppy steering that told me the front tire was very soft.
The day was hot and I didn’t feel like working on a tire in hot sun. What to do? One of the items I carry in my tool bag, besides extra tubes, is a CO2 inflation system made by Innovations. These can be obtained at many bicycle shops and use a small 12g, 16g, or 25g cartridge.
On both rides I was able to inflate the tire enough to get back to the car. On the ride last week I only needed to re-inflate the tire twice on the return trip. When I did get to fix the tire I found a very small sliver of glass, a small patch was all that was needed.
It’s all ways good to bring more tools and supplies than you think you’ll need when you are further from home-base than you feel like walking. I recently came across a rider that had a flat with no tools. He was 18 miles from home. As one TV Commercial used to say “Don’t leave home without it!”