Freedom on Two Wheels: Embracing the Flat Tire

Submitted by CCCL_AlbertG

Repairing a flat or replacing a tube on the side of a road is a kind of rite of passage for a cyclist. Like most things that we enjoy and that challenge us, cycling can be hard. There are tools you will need, patience and a few band aids. Luckily, there is a lot of help for those of us who jump on a bike and roll away from the comfort and safety of our homes. Here are a few tips on what to do when you get a flat. 

After enough miles, it happens to everyone. You are riding along and you hear the pop and the hiss. You have a flat tire. This is the moment in a professional bike race when the team car pulls up with a new bicycle and off you go, but that will not be the case for you so find a safe place away from traffic and get to work. The idea is that you will remove the flat tube, replace and pump up a new tube, and roll away with a smile of confidence because you have risen to a great challenge. Like so many great plans, it never happens that easily. Prepare to sweat a little so do yourself a favor and find some shade. Tire levers will help separate the tire from the rim, and you will also need a spare tube and a pump. I also carry a CO2 cartridge which can be used to quickly fill a tube. A CO2 inflator, preferably one with a trigger, will help regulate the CO2 flow. Use the pump to top it off. You will be rolling in no time with dirtier hands and knees and most likely no remaining tubes, so do yourself a favor and do not get another flat before you get home!  

Check out this booklist Rolling Through the Urban Countryside for more resources and tips on how to fix up, repair or trick out your bike.