Cycling to Fleet Pond (29th August 2006)

When Fliss last came over we went cycling South along the towpath of the local canal, then meandered out through the countryside. I’ve since noticed that we both punctured the front tyre of the bicycles we used. A couple of days ago got out the puncture repair kit and, after a lot of struggling, managed to get the tyre and inner tube off the wheel. It was completely flat, so I put a little air in it so it kept its shape.

Dad found our puncture repair kits and I filled a tub with water so I could find exactly where the puncture was. After locating the hole I roughed the surface with sandpaper until it lost its shine, which was taking ages because the sandpaper was blunt. I managed to find a newer piece and it was a breeze to prepare the surface. I applied the adhesive, let it dry, then carefully (but firmly) applied the patch. Held it in place for a couple of minutes, then put it back in the garage and had dinner.

Yesterday I went back to the garage and the repair had held. After a similar amount of struggling I got the tyre and inner tube back on the wheel without any twists. Put a bit more air in it and massaged the tyre to make sure the inner tube was seated properly. All seemed well, so I wriggled the wheel between the brake callipers and bolted the axle into the frame. I filled the tyre up the rest of the way (it wouldn’t have gone past the brakes fully inflated) and took it out for a ride.

I decided to head North this time and ride all the way across Fleet, which is about 2 miles. The town stops quite abruptly and woodland starts immediately due to it being protected by some organisation or law or something. There’s lots of public paths through it and cycling is allowed, so I decided to explore some tracks I hadn’t ridden before. I found some really neat routes and ended up in an area I knew from cycling with my friends when we were at senior school.

I came back before I reached the pond, but I’ve found some new places to cycle with Fliss next time she comes over. I’ll be visiting her tomorrow.