If you prick us, do we not leak?

Medicine, Buddha.

Medicine, Buddha.

Flats. Gah, etc.

The goatheads are after me again. Seems as though I can go for months without a puncture and then suddenly it’s pow, pow, pow. Or, more accurately, pssssshhhhhhh, hissssssssss, fyyyyisssssss.

This rhymes with “bliss,” but is not synonymous.

The smart Duke City cyclist runs goo-filled inner tubes or some tubeless setup to avoid needless pedestrianism. But as you know I will never be smart, so I generally wait for a puncture to replace a standard tube with a gooey one. And sometimes even then I’ll just patch the hole and drive on.

If cycling were really the new golf I’d have a caddy to do this for me, or some sycophantic huckster eager for my thoughts on his notion for a left-handed smartphone. “Just try to keep up, punk,” I’d sneer, and of course he couldn’t. It’s a Mad Dog-eat-dog world.

Yesterday I found a slow leak in the rear tire of the Sam Hillborne — it’s always the rear, isn’t it? — and instead of taking the usual half measures I instantly replaced both inner tubes with goopy tubes. Take that, goatheads. Y’pricks.

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32 Responses to “If you prick us, do we not leak?”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Back in Honolulu it was glass. The good citizens of Paradise were all too often tossing their empties on the side of the road, where they of course became curses to cyclists. I think I was running cast iron tires for a while. Actually, they were early Specialized belted Armadillos that felt like cast iron. I hated them but flatting five miles from home on Kalanianaole Hway was even worse.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Glass down here too, K. There are a couple spots that seem to be the go-to bottle-recycling locations for the local drunkards, where the shoulder seems more glass than chip-seal.

      New Mexico is the only place I’ve double-flatted simultaneously — just shy of the La Puebla exit between Pojoaque and Española, in a patch of glass shards that must have been 100m long.

      Naturally, I had one spare tube. It was a long walk home through three-legged-pit-bull country.

    • James Hodge Says:

      Back when I lived in the more northerly, colder, and windier square state, the law at the time (and may still be) was such that it was legal to have an open container while driving in many counties. Most, if not all, cities and towns, though, felt differently. Therefore the mile or two leading up to the city limit sign was the open-container-tossing-out-the-window zone. Sorta like the trash zone at Tour de France stages, only with more glass shards.

      I even heard of a study done on the amount so such trash on the side of the roads as an indicator for how much drinking and driving was taking place. Answer: a lot.

      Could the situation similar where you’re at, PO’G? It might explain the “go-to bottle-recycling locations”.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    So O’G, after what happened to that ten year old girl, are you gonna join Da Gov in demanding a return to the gallows.

    Capital punishment doesn’t do shit for reducing violent crime, but boy, I would like to take those three shitheads for a ride to the middle of the Jornada del Muerto, kneecap them on a July day, and say adios.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Stakes. Honey. Big-ass anthill. I don’t trust the State to get executions right. This is a matter for the private sector.

      • khal spencer Says:

        With all the commotion about lethal injection drugs, seems to me a good backstop and a firing squad is quick and lethal. Condemned get his choice: a Pall Mall or a Jack Daniels.

        Privatized capital punishment, eh? Have you been reading about the Philippines under their new asshole/president?

        Of course, none of that will deter the kind of people who would masturbate while watching her daughter drugged, raped, and cut into pieces and burned. Whatta world.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Please don’t mention private sector and prison or law enforcement in the same sentence on a public forum. It gets the state legislators all worked up when they see how much money they can make under the table. They can’t keep the slobber off their chin long enough to kiss a gay baby for Jesus.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I was thinking relatives, Pat. If the kid had any family worth the name they should have dragged those scumbags out to the desert and gotten medieval on they ass.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I didn’t know about this murder.
        I just read about it.

      • DownhillBill Says:

        “Stakes. Honey. Big-ass anthill.” And a suitable quantity of clinical LSD dripped into their eyeballs so they can get a good look at themselves.

    • Steve O Says:

      // Sanchez suggested deaths like Victoria’s could be prevented if state child welfare case workers made more home visits and New Mexico implemented a statewide pre-kindergarten program. Research shows both help reduce to reduce child abuse and poverty, he said. //

      These cases are maybe the best example of what’s wrong with our liberal vs conservative vs libertarian mindset. There are obvious solutions that require all sides to bend in their ideological rigidity. And there are not-so-obvious answers that will never get discovered if all sides can’t cooperate, give in a little here to get something there.

      If child welfare can’t be made to be a non-partisan issue, then we are truly fucked.

  3. Mike Frye Says:

    For me what I always did was cover all the bases for my commuters.
    Step one. kevlar belted tires
    Step two. thorn proof tubes (they’re good for goat heads and your tires don’t go flat even if you leave your hanging up for a while)
    Step three. “Mr. Tuffy” tire protectors ( I’ve actually worn a bald spot it’s about 4 inches long on my commuter bike before it finally let go.with those things in there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      These Duke City thorns don’t play, Mike. The bike has 700×38 Kenda Kwick Tendrils on and a thorn punched right through its Iron Cap shield.

      The goop-filled tubes should help, but the Mr. Tuffys are a good idea. I haven’t used those in forever — since I lived in Pueblo, maybe? Lots of pointy tire-flatting objects in that neck of the woods, too.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I have only two words to add to this discussion. Schwable Plus. If you add up the weight of your favorite flat preventing tube, sealant if used, and tire, I bet the Schwallbe Plus tire and standard tube would not be much heavier.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The Schwalbes are good, for sure. Their Little Big Ben is pretty much the perfect tire, as the Rivendellers will tell you. I have that one on three bikes now, I think. Durable, versatile and affordable.

      • psobrien Says:

        Yep. I have never had a kevlar or vectran breaker work as well as the highly elastic India rubber breaker layer that Schwalbe uses. The Greenguard (3mm thick) works extremely well, and the Smartguard (5mm thick) is damn near bulletproof. The Smart Sam Plus and standard Marathon are green guard. The Marathon Plus is Smart guard.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        To change the subject for a minute, another great actor has left us. Just read about Gene Wilder returning to the source. He was in some of my favorite movies, including Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

  4. Libby Says:

    Not to be dismissive of your bike rides and tire woes…”on rough and exotic roads”, but I suddenly wondered about the Vespa. Did it make the trip with you to Duke City?

    I was reminded of a poem. After some research, I found it. Irish poet, Derek Mahon’s “The Bicycle”. Dreams of repair kits, and rides on “rough and exotic roads”, “happiness a free-wheeling past fragrant hawthorn”.


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Libby, the Vespa got here a little late. When Herself’s battered Subaru went belly-up I had it shipped down, thinking to use it for errands while she drove my Forester to work (I don’t drive much).

      Since she bought the CR-V I use the Vespa for short hops, mostly, as the drivers here are all clinically insane, impaired, or both. You don’t want to be pooting around at 40 mph around here, not even in a 40-mph zone. Folks do 60 in those, while texting, smoking and cracking another PBR.

      I like the poem. That’s a new one to me. Ever try reading “The Third Policeman?” I’ve had a couple whacks at it and couldn’t get ‘er done, but I can’t read Joyce either. I’m more of a Frank O’Connor kind of guy. Maybe I should have another go.

      • Libby Says:

        Haven’t read “The Third Policeman” but I kept running across mentions when I was looking for “The Bicycle” which had been mentioned in a blog? somewhere. So I will take a crack at it.
        You do keep reminding us about the drivers there. Makes sense to use it sparingly.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I ain’t woofin’ about the drivers. A guy who was into that sort of thing could get into a half-dozen fistfights a day, a couple of gunfights, and probably at least one knife fight.

  5. Larry T Says:

    Iowans (and Italians too) don’t seem so keen on busting beer bottles in the road and we don’t seem to have anything like goathead thorns, so I can count my yearly flat tires on one hand with plenty of fingers left over. 🙂
    I did get one the other day, a tiny length of fine wire (steel belted tire carcass?) making a thwap, thwap sound. I stop and think, “it’s really thin wire, can I yank it out and ride the 10 kms home before it goes flat? Why not try?” So I yanked it out, then rubbed some spit on the tiny hole. A few tiny bubbles was all I got, so off I went.
    Made it home easily, but the tire was totally flat the next morning. One of those kits like in your photo took care of the tiny hole – I really HATE to throw Michelin tubes away!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve been set afoot by those little wire bastards before too, Larry. In Weirdcliffe it was construction hardware bounced out of truck beds by the indifference of the county road crews re: maintenance and repair.

  6. Carl Duellman Says:

    mr tuffy has been my friend for over 15 years. i couldn’t get in a ride without picking up something in a tire. a friend suggested mr. tuffy and i haven’t had a puncture induced flat since. although i was doing my annual ride to the beach last year and i got a flat at the top of the 3 mile bridge. i walked the rest of the way across both cursing and praising mr. tuffy. cursing because he failed me and praising because he failed me only once in these many years. i got to the end of the bridge to the park, flipped the bike and popped off the tire and lo and behold i had forgotten to put mr tuffy in the wheel. lesson learned.

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