I cycled to work yesterday. It is still not a regular thing that I do, but when the weather is nice (as it has been for the past few days) i've found myself strangely motivated to do it and am so far enjoying it, despite being a river of sweat when I get to my destination. Despite having only done the trip to work and back about 10 times i'm already noticing a big increase in fitness, and finding it less of a struggle to do 9 miles each way.
Anyway - I was talking with a colleague here at work about punctures. He rides to work most days and asked me what I had in terms of puncture repair with me, as he'd recently suffered a puncture and was saying how much it sucked having to walk 7 or so miles back home pushing a bike. Prior to getting my road bike I did a bit of riding around on a mountain bike and had never gotten a puncture and as a result never even thought about taking a repair kit and pump around with me, and that same mentality had carried over into my road bike ownership - so I said that I didn't carry any puncture repair kit. We talked about it a bit more and he advised me to sort something out. I thought nothing more of it and headed home at the end of the day. I got as far as the A46 where suddenly I was even more aware of the rough road surface at the rear of the bike.. I began to slow down (whilst trying to avoid the traffic) and the grim realisation dawned that I had sustained my first ever puncture. Unbelievable.
I dragged the bike off the road and into a grass verge and stood scratching my head as I mulled over having to walk back to Leamington Spa, pushing a bike, along busy roads with no paths. After a few minutes of trying this I gave up and phoned my very understanding girlfriend who whizzed over to pick me up and take me back home with the bike squeezed into the back of her Ford Ka. Whilst I stood waiting for her to come by I had a look at the skinny tyre to try and see just what had done the damage, and I can only assume it was just the innertube popping after being hit too hard on one of the many many holes in the road, as no foreign objects seemed to be stuck in the tyre :(
This weekend i'll be getting a lesson from my flatmate (somewhat more experienced cyclist) on how to repair a puncture and will also probably be dropping by Mike Vaughans for a pump and some puncture repair patches!