Deflated oval


in Oxford, The outdoors

Flat hybrid bike tire

On account of the gorgeous weather early this afternoon, I took a break from the research design and great powers/unipolarity essays to go cycling. Having already gone out and back to the north and south, I decided to head out west from central Oxford, then divert north, east, and then back south to Church Walk. I went 27km all told, along a route resembling a misshapen oval. Starting by passing under the train tracks beside the Oxford station, I rode west through Botley and Farmoor, before diverting mostly north to Eynsham – where sandwiches were secured. From there, I took the A40 to Cassington.

At the top of the long arc, north of Oxford, I had the misfortune of suffering a puncture in my rear tire. Nervous about ruining the wheel, I walked the bike just shy of six miles: from between Cassington and Yarnton, back into north Oxford. That was necessary because none of the buses entering Oxford from the north are allowed to carry bikes and years of educational videos made me too hesitant to try hitchiking, despite having recently read Kerouac. Thankfully, I was able to do reach Church Walk just before it began to rain.

Fixing a punctured rear tire exceeds my bike maintenance experience. The need to deal with the derailleur is a complicating factor. Additionally, my bike pump has been missing for weeks and I don’t have a suitable wrench, nor plastic levers for the removal of the tire. I will find out how much it would cost to have fixed in a shop, before I decide whether or not to make an oily attempt at it myself. I have already searched my room and all common areas of the house at least three times for the pump, without luck. I’ve also interrogated my roommates and pondered who I could possibly have lent it to. I distinctly remember telling someone that I had my doubts about whether it was really high pressure enough for road bike tires, but that they were welcome to give it a try…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 19, 2006 at 5:11 pm

You may not need to remove the wheel to fix the puncture in the tubs. If you can find it, you can simply peel the tyre back in that area and apply the patch in situ. You would need some tyre levers to do it, but no wrench.

Milan May 19, 2006 at 5:38 pm


That would be excellent. It would save me all kinds of bother. I will examine the wheel closely and see if I can find the hole.

Milan May 19, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Yesterday night, I referred Linnea to a page that I remember finding exceptionally funny: It consists of covers and frames from comic books that show super heroes doing decidedly unheroic – or simply funny or strange – things.

This gallery is excellent. As is this one.

Two images to have a look at specifically: One, Two

B May 19, 2006 at 7:04 pm

“years of educational videos made me too hesitant to try hitchiking, despite having recently read Kerouac.”

Pathetic, During the middle of the day in Oxford, what could possibly have gone wrong?

Ben May 19, 2006 at 9:55 pm

Beeline or Bike Zone (Market St) should fix the puncture – replacing the inner tube – for under a tenner in my experience, but not while you wait. But they won’t return the old tube unless you make a point of asking.

Milan May 19, 2006 at 10:43 pm


Less than 10 Pounds strikes me as a reasonable price for not having to buy the tools and deal with all the mess of disassembly. I will check tomorrow whether the closest bike shop – in Jericho near Pepper’s Burgers – is reasonably priced in this regard.

Ben May 20, 2006 at 12:47 am

My thoughts exactly, though I feel rather lame if it’s only a front tyre…

Anonymous May 20, 2006 at 11:34 am

If your bike tyre was ovular before getting punctured, that might explain some of your problems. Must have been a wobbly ride.

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