A ‘blowout’ like gunshot……

I was just two miles from my rest stop…….a very nice café in Cambourne where I would meet up with a euphemistically-named group called ‘The Slugs’. Mostly retired, usually with the flexibility to jump on the bike on a Tuesday morning and head for a watering hole. We try to meet up most weeks, indulge in lashings of coffee or tea, inevitably accompanied by illicit-sounding pastries (frequently on a BOGOF offer), and chew the fat…..meaning, of course, we solve the problems of the world, if only someone would listen to us……

But this fine, frosty Tuesday morning, as I approached Cambourne and could almost smell the coffee beans roasting, a loud gunshot sounded….right next to me (or so it seemed)….so frightening, that my ‘knee-jerk reaction’ was to duck down, avoiding I-know-not-what, nor from which direction. My heart missed a couple of beats, and I looked around for the culprit…….then, oh yes, the realisation dawned on me………I felt the rough surface of the road beneath my saddle…….

A ‘blowout’ so violent and sudden that the tyre had deflated instantly, had blown a huge hole in the outer casing, and it only took me a few seconds to decide to abandon all thoughts of repair, and to start walking the two miles to Cambourne in the hope of finding a bike shop.IMAG1038

Alas, the only bike shop in this concept settlement (Cambourne is entirely the product of town planners’ imaginations) had closed a few months ago, but my disappointment was assuaged both by the tea, cakes and company in the café, and my wife’s willingness to drive out and pick me up.

Where would we guys be without our spouses?

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on December 16, 2014, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Frank, I don’t know how I should react. The fearless discoverer, boldly facing insurmountable odds cycling into unknown perils, is reduced to calling Jenny for a rescue? My world perspective is going to face severe adjustment! Love to you both. Night God Bless.


  2. Oh how true that last question is! Where would we be indeed.


  3. Oooops……! Now you know the truth. I shouldn’t have let this story out into the public arena…..This ‘pseudo fearless discoverer’ is nothing but a sham really. The real adventurer wouldn’t carry a phone in his pocket (too prissie), but then he might be carrying not one…but two spare tyres in a pannier (plus spares of everything else, weighing several kilos) in the case of any eventuality. But ah, the joys of risk-taking……. 🙂


  4. I recognise that feeling of shock & awe followed by despair. This one looks to far gone for anything (except stuff it with grass, hay, twigs, abandoned mattresses . . . .?)


  5. Yes, I had considered all those time-honoured ‘escapology’ tricks…..short of carrying a strip of old tyre cover, this was definitely a ‘walk to the edge of the forest’ to find a way out.


  6. My girlfriend took the critical step to becoming my spouse when she picked me up from a ride to go and see her. My knee went on day four (it was not a 20 min pedal but a mini-tour!) and I found myself 20 miles from my end point but in too much pain to continue. She picked me, bike, tent and panniers up from a tea room in Hay on Wye. Now she is Mrs W.


  7. ……a friend in need becomes a wife for life…… Great story!


  8. I keep promising myself that this won’t happen again….

    But I have a horrible feeling it just might. Aren’t our partners wonderful! (I say this in advance as insurance).

    Happy Christmas Frank and Mrs B!


  9. …and a happy Christmas to you and your family, Kevin. And enjoy the pedalling the miles in 2015.
    P.S. Silly question….but do they eat brussel sprouts in Brussels?


  10. Choux de Bruxelles – and they attract the same love hate feeling among Belgians.

    Sauted in bacon and garlic – my preferred!


  11. A blowout pre pastries of that magnitude is a deep mystery. Lucky for our better halves.


  12. ….now the bike is shod in ‘bomb-proof’ tyres……or so Continental claim…


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