Monday, September 23, 2013

Cycling: Not All Glamour

Bits and bobs everywhere on the pavement. Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

I enjoy my cycle commute to work. I've progressed from being a twice a week, fair-weather cyclist, to being a four days a week, almost all-weather cyclist. My fitness has improved, I have lost a fair amount of weight and I arrive to work most mornings buzzing on endorphins.

I've recently had a full service at Caballo on Chatsworth Road in Hackney. My bike, named Sasha, is running like a dream. Along with new brakes and a full strip-down, clean and rebuild, I've had a new rear cassette with a 11-28T range.

There was one thing I didn't change though: my tyres. With 2,500km on the Garmin, the rear tyre was looking a little worse for wear, but I had my eyes on a set of Specialized Roubaix tyres. As if fate decreed, riding full pelt up Shaftesbury Avenue, a popping sound came from my rear wheel.

In the oppressive heat and with sweat dripping from everywhere, I was forced to pull off the road, park up on the pavement, and set about replacing the inner tube. After removing the wheel, taking off the tyre, and pulling out the damaged inner tube, I assembled everything to put it all back together again. Could I get the tyre back on the rim though? Could I heck. My frustration was immense.

I am still unsure why it took so long to do something that I've been able to do since the age of ten, and that I've previously be able to replace in three minutes. 

After a brief pause, filthy with the grime of the London pavements on my knees, it finally all went back together. Thankfully with a CO2 pump, the tyre was inflated in no time. I made it home in a record slow time of 1hr 40mins.

Note: I have now replaced my tyres!

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