Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Sounds like the front brake pads rubbing on the rim. No, not the rim. The tyre. Better stop and check it out. Nope, can’t see anything wrong. So I fiddle with the brake cantilevers on the front of the ‘cross bike as I’m riding home trying to stop the noise. Partly because it’s irritating and partly because if it is the brakes rubbing on the sidewall of the tyre it’ll be through and the inner tube will have exploded by the time I get home.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

It’s starting to rain. The weather has been unpredictable for weeks, but it’s 7pm on a Friday and having been working late, I just want to get home and start the weekend. With a beer. Withou getting soaked by Manchester’s unwanted precipitation.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Right, that’s enough. Stop. Get off the bike spin the front wheel around whilst checking the brake blocks in relation to the tyre. No bulges in the tyre and the rims not out of true. Check it’s seated properly in the drop outs and tighten the quick release up a bit anyway. Set off and fiddle with the brakes again, riding slowly because I’m trying to do all this in traffic.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

Sweet Mary and the infants! What is it? Over a pothole. Hmmm. That’s not a good sign. Should have felt that bump. Look down at the slowly softening front tyre. P U N C T U R E.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

First one whilst commuting in over a year. Click down a couple of gears and try and get some speed on. I want to get home. The rain is getting heavier.

Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

It’s too late, the pressure in the tyre’s so low it’s starting to squirm, even in a straight line. I get my weight right back over the back wheel trying to unweight the front. It’s a vain effort, but it probably buys me another 50 metres.

Nothing. No Pffft, Pffft, Pffft.

The tyre runs limply on the rim, so expensive German rubber and a deflated inner tube are the only things saving the delicate aluminimum of the rim from the coarse abrasive asphalt. I can ride on and destroy the tyre and damage the rim or I can admit defeat. I bow my head, I hate giving in. The heavens open.

It’s a long, cold and wet walk home ducking from the shelter of one tree to the next. I’ll put my spare tube, pump and tyre levers back in my back tonight then. That’ll teach me to take them out.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

One thought on “Pfft”

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