Cycling along one of the many miles of approved cycle tracks in the New Forest can be a fabulous thing to do. On a sunny day and on a well maintained mountain bike, well it just doesn’t get much better than this. My bike has Specialized Armadillo ‘puncture resistant’ tyres as the Forest tracks are hard on tyres, but even so I carry a spare tube, tyre levers and a pump, just in case.
Cycling back after a particularly pleasant early morning jaunt in the forest, I got a flat tyre. I replaced the punctured tube, after checking the inner tyre wall for thorns or other spiky objects. Unfortunately my replacement tube was holier than the Pope. The air was coming out faster than my CO2 cartridge could pump it in. After a few choice expletives, I fumbled around in my wedgie saddle bag for my patches. Oops, it would seem I must have left them on my road bike!
5 miles from home, I gave my wife a rather sheepish call to ask her to rescue me in the car. Having said that as I was waiting 3 or 4 passing cyclists offered help and patches, so I probably would have been good to go. However, I was fortunate to be near one of the busier parts of the forest, just imagine being without mobile phone coverage and in a remote spot. You might have to wait a long time, or face a long walk pushing your deflated steed.
Next time, I will have 2 new inner tubes and patches as well as my normal toolkit. I suspect this won’t be the last of my punctures in the New Forest.