Puncture, White Van Man, & lessons learned

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Puncture, White Van Man, & lessons learned

Postby Tonyf33 » 21 Feb 2009, 5:15pm

Went out today on a 35 mile there & back to pick up a saddle I'd bought for the missus off ebay. It's been really warm & small breeze, the roads to the pickup are pretty good, perfect day out I thought.
All going well then psssssssss, I'm about 2.5 miless from the pickup when I run over something that I failed to see only hear as it rips through my fairly new Conti Gatorskin(rear). This is my first puncture in about 3 years.
Gutted as I didn't have a spare(careless on my part) which wouldn't have helped much as the tyre had an 1.5" gash diagonally across the tread all the way through.
I walked the rest of the way & then thought now what.
Anyway i'm thinking I've got a long long walk home so I start off and hang my thumb out just in case.
Within 1 minute a white van beeps me & pulls over, I get a lift for 10 miles. I'm thinking result cos their are cycling paths from there & I can go really slow & trundle with my weight forward off & on.
I walk/trundle for about 3 miles, the shortest route is walking by the main road, then suddenly the guy who had given me a lift pulls over in his car with family in tow & he gives me a lift all the way back to within 10 minutes walk of home.
i was very grateful!
My lesson learnt, ALWAYS take a tube/pump/tools on longer journeys, not sure how much it would have helped given the large rip in the tyre but I'm annoyed I didn't see whatever ripped into the tyre, I'm usually so vigilent.
Maybe I'd gotten over confident given it's the best day of the year so far.
It also restored faith in humanity after having a lot of bad car incidents/near misses of late.

Posts: 267
Joined: 2 Nov 2008, 2:59pm
Location: between potholes

Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 21 Feb 2009, 9:43pm

Nice to read of decent people around isn't it! Just shows, you can't jump to conclusions.

I recall vaguely my worst-ever 'visit' which happened when I was still a teenager. No such things as Gatorskins in those days, of course! Anyway I'd somehow managed to pick up a 4-inch nail which had entered at an angle and completely impaled the tyre: the 'snakebite' to surpass all 'snakebites'. I had no spare on me, nor did I have a spanner to get the wheel off (no Q/R hubs for me in those days). But I had patches but alas! the rubber cement had dried up in the tube. I walked a short distance to a petrol station meaning to beg some rubber cement off them and - wonder of wonders! - they had some. Somehow I contrived to patch up the tube and limp home :) .

Posts: 145
Joined: 11 Sep 2007, 1:38pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.

Postby dmiller » 23 Feb 2009, 8:53am

Its strange isn't it?

On the road I get most grief from white van men (and woman!) and taxi drivers... yet if I get a puncture in the middle of nowhere its always white vans and taxi drivers that stop to see if Im okay and normal drivers give me the same wide bearth as they drive on by...

Spose it shows its nothing personal at the end of the day or something.

Posts: 3270
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Postby gilesjuk » 23 Feb 2009, 2:07pm

A piece of empty toothpaste tube is a really good for plugging damage to tyres.

Hector's House
Posts: 328
Joined: 25 Aug 2008, 5:03pm
Location: Glasgow/Edinburgh

Postby Hector's House » 23 Feb 2009, 2:28pm

I get sad when I hear or read those words, "it restores my faith in humanity..."

Suggests we pigeon hole certain people.

One of the kindest drivers I've ever had behind me was a boy racer shortly before ten pm. Well, he never said anything to me when they went past or anything. He just drove as any good driver should have done - gave me room, didn't rev engine unnessecarily etc... Of course, saying that suggests that all boy racers drive erratically.

lol, I remember going for an early morning cycle once... whilst at some lights, the guy in the car next to me rolled down his window and said he was sure he heard some hissing from my back wheel... my wheel was perfectly fine, but it's amazing when that happens. Just shows that some people naturally look out for others.

Posts: 59
Joined: 10 Jan 2007, 1:28pm

White Van Man

Postby richardirving » 25 Feb 2009, 3:22pm

The day before Christmas Eve last year, I went shopping for my wife with my 5 year old son as stoker on our tandem on a 17 mile round trip. On the return journey we punctured about 3 miles from home, I was getting to repair it but the sky was darkening and the wind was picking up in an exposed part of N. Essex. Naturally, my boy starts to shiver and fortunately a very kindly man in a white van stopped to help by giving us a lift home. More importantly, he made no comment or remark on what we were about - sometimes you do get a murmur of reproof from some busybodies.
I would echo the comment earlier about car drivers being conspicuous in keeping their distance. I am always grateful to people in vans and commercials asking if they can help when I've stopped and in mid repair as it shows that your existence has been acknowledged. Usually, I do not need their help and (very) politely decline the offer as well as make a point of thanking them for stopping; on this occasion, I was glad to accept for my son's sake.