Thursday, 1 May 2008

Alot to tell you.

Last time I cycled was Sunday, it's now Thursday, not a happy so and so. Cycling home from work Sunday evening I had my second puncture in 3 days, it was the rear tyre, so to save time I rang my eldest son, Keiron, to come and rescue me. This, in itself, was a difficult process, as my car with the bike rack on, Keiron doesn't have one on his, was in Aberdulais, I was at Briton Ferry, and Keiron was at home in Glynneath. So Keiron had to drive to Briton Ferry, pick me up, while I left my bike locked to a pub sign, for security, drive me to Aberdulais, for me to pick up my car, he then drove on home, while I drove back to Briton Ferry, to pick up my bike.

Well it all went to plan, and I was able to pick up my Subway 8 , safe and sound, and transport it home. I've said many times, in this blog, I'm no bike mechanic, even mending a puncture, is a major exercise for me. The previous puncture, Conor, my other son, helped me to fix, he made it look so easy, but that was the front wheel.This time, because it was the back wheel I decided to take it to Halfords, for them to repair. The gears were still not "right" anyway, I'd taken the bike back 4 times, for that problem already.

Sadly, I couldn't get there till yesterday, the lads at Halfords said they'd fix the flat and check the gears, I went for a cup of coffee, they said to come back in half an hour. When I came back they said there was a problem with the gearing, and would take the internal hub apart, and sort it out. I told them I hadn't a problem with the gears until they'd serviced the bike, they said they'd ring me when it was ready.

At about 4.00pm., that same afternoon they rang to say it was ready, and they'd replaced the whole back wheel, which included a completely new Nexus 8 hub, free because the bike was less than 12 months old, and no charge for labour. All I had to pay for was a new inner tube, two tyre liners, which I'd asked for, to provide even more puncture resistance. To think, I had been thinking, my puncture problems were over, after approx 3 months without one, I'm seriously thinking of sending away for those solid rubber inner tubes, I read about last year. Punctures are my major turn-off when I'm cycling, something I dread.

The amount of glass on the cyclepaths is no joke, it seems to be done out of pure spite, just the type of society we now find ourselves living in, I suppose. I'm afraid that, to avoid the glass, I'll have to ride on the road, where any glass is soon cleared by the traffic. Anyway, if I get a puncture any time soon, I'll be sporting solid tyres, as soon as I can.

Been off all week, took 3 nighshifts off, had a phonecall today, asking me to work tomorrow night (Friday), so I'll get to commute in and back, even toying with the idea of cycling the whole trip, i.e., the whole 18 miles each way. We'll see what the weather's to be like, but my route will be, on road down the valley, to Ynysarwed, then pick up the canal towpath, via the new aquaduct through Tonna, Neath, Giant's Grave, Briton Ferry, then follow the old A48 road to Port Talbot, thus avoiding the National route 4 cycleway, and all that broken glass, well fingers crossed.


Svenny said...

Hi welshcyclist,
Nice to see your still at it.
I was reading your post thinking I was lucky. I haven't had a puncture on my bike since...well I can't remember when. Yesterday I went for a leisure ride around the streets with my daughter. Wouldn't you know it: PUNCTURE!
I felt the back start to get mushy, and fishtailing to a stop, I called up to my daughter to wait.
I carry a patch kit, but it wasn't really the place to stop and patch as it was getting dark. So we walked the bikes home. I've got a nice blister on my heel from it :)
My tires are a Kevlar reinforced style to provide puncture resistance, but taking the tire off and looking at it there was a tiny shard of beer-bottle-brown glass poking it's nose through the carcass. And then I log into the RSS feeds today to find this link.

Anonymous said...

Hey Svenny,

Sorry to hear about your puncture, I'm sad to say my problems with punctures have just got bigger and bigger. The last 4 commutes I've done has resulted in a puncture, on route, each time, I've gone back to Halfords, all this since they gave me a new wheel. The 1st time, they said it was a faulty inner tube, and replaced it free of charge. The 2nd, it was just bad luck, and they replaced the inner tube with a slime filled version, and an extra protective liner inside the tyre, free of charge. The 3rd time they took the tyre and inner tube off the wheel to discover the rim tape had moved, which they duely replaced, yet another special inner tube etc., free of charge. Yesterday, I thought the problem was solved, I cycled all the way to work no problem, but no my hopes were dashed on the return leg, same thing happened, no sign of an external puncture. So yes, I'm off to Halfords, for the 5th time in a week! I've already spoken to them on the phone, told them that it, as far as I'm concerned, is related to the replacement back wheel they put on for me, and that I want it replaced, free of charge, of course, and I'm asking how they can compensate me for all my time and trouble as a result of this long fiasco. Read the blog in a couple of days, and I'll bring you up to date. By the way I found out about Yehuda Moon a while ago, I enjoy it, nice to hear you again. Cheers for now.