Why do punctures always happen at the farthest point on a ride?

Took advantage of the good weather yesterday with a nice Saturday afternoon ride with my occasional riding buddy.  We were doing a regular 22 miler of ours, which manages to combine some nice quiet flat bits with a couple of pretty decent hills.  The first of these occurs on the way into Tostock, which is a 1 kilometre incline that seems to drag for quite a while; the second is on the way out of Rattlesden, home of my village local, the wonderfully eccentric Five Bells.

5 Bells

5 Bells

Birds Green, as it is known,is a steep and nasty hill that just refuses to stop rising.  It leads off to Buxhall, which is an easy 1.5 miles away to the east.

Birds Green in the snow

Birds Green in the snow

Obviously this picture is not the one relevant to my ride – I wouldn’t fancy this climb on a road bike….

Anyway, back to the title of the post – as we rounded the corner to the ‘way back’, my riding buddy’s tyre flattened.  Now I know this is winter, but this was a Schwalbe Marathon Plus fitted to his road bike – one of the most un-puncturable tyres in existence, if we are to believe the marketing.  Ok, nothing is 100% proof against flats; it might have been a badly seated valve or something.  But thankfully he was in posession of his mobile; I had merrily left mine in the house before departing.  After a few hundred yards of walking, reception was established and a call to his wife meant rescue was at hand.  This fact having been established, I set off for his house by bike while he waited.  I racked up a pretty decent 18mph average over the last section, including the two aforementioned hills, and luckily avoided any hidden ice patches.

I reckon that riding is now going to be the exception rather than the rule; until about mid February or maybe later it seems that these kind of weekends, with their frosty, icy mornings and hedge – shaded ice patches are the kind of things that just make you want to stay at home and maybe take a blast on the turbo trainer instead.

Or, of course, pay a visit to the Five Bells!!!


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