Just a few days after my first flat, things are spiraling out of control.
I wake up with high spirits in the sleepy little town of Keith, South Australia. I break camp, pack my bags, apply my anti-chaffing balm, and roll out of my stealthy campsite to find my back tire flat.
All of my tubes have been used up and I do not yet know how reliant I should be on patched tires (answer: very reliant), so I head to the local hardware shop where I buy their last tube compatible with my bike.
Pumping up the tube, I am caught off guard when it suddenly explodes (this likely due to my having twisted the tube inside the tire).
With no more tubes, it’s time to patch.
By the time I’m ready to go (again) I’ve wasted nearly two hours of daylight (give me a break, I’m new to this whole bicycle maintenance business).
In a perfect world, I would have started riding as early as possible, because the early morning appears to be the least windy part of the day (the wind is quickly becoming my greatest enemy).
Today’s delay is doing me no favors since the winds appear to have picked up in the wake of the massive storm that moved through here two nights ago (and they’re still blowing in my face).
Oh, and what’s that? My tire has gone flat again.
And then again.
And then again.
Yes, today I got four punctures.
My tubes are slowly morphing into more patch than tube.
My front wheel has only gone flat once, which is unfortunate because changing a front flat takes me far less time than changing a rear flat (can I say that? Front flat and rear flat?).
The combination of headwind and punctures makes for my shortest day of the trip thus far (not counting the day I ended to stay in Ararat).
I’m going to have to pick up the pace if I’m ever going to make it across this continent.
And maybe invest in some new tires? Except I already bought new tires when I bought the bike, so changing them again is not on the top of my to-do list.
Hopefully a bike shop employee in Adelaide holds the answer.
- START: Keith, South Australia
- END: Culburra, South Australia
- DAY’S DISTANCE: 32.3 mi / 52 km
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 386.1 mi / 621.2 km