Deflation is rife: Devizes to Hungerford

Canal tow paths are not always suitable for bikes, so we steered off along the lanes, but that inevitably meant hills……….aarrgh, they go upwards. And that ain’t no easy task on a tandem. We may have two people pushing the pedals, but that definitely does not equate to twice the efficiency.

OK, we accept the hills, and we even welcomed the rain (after nearly 8 weeks of near-drought conditions)…….but what do you say to a puncture or two……and in the back wheel?IMG_20180730_111203657_HDR

I go weeks and months without a puncture on my solo bikes, and we seldom get them on the tandem, but when they strike, they are mean. Even meaner when you discover that the spare tubes that you have been carrying for years unused have the wrong type of valve for the hole in the wheel rim. The process of repairing a back wheel is tortuous….you have to take the panniers and the rack pack off the back first, and a Schwalbe tandem tyre is difficult to get off and to get back on again, and when you have to repair the puncture road-side in the wet, that is the most cruel and mean-spirited fate to befall the tandemist.

Of course the repair didn’t work, so we wheeled the tandem a couple of miles into Pewsey and, being a Sunday, found the only bike shop closed, so sought comfort in an all-day breakfast in a local café. When all was lost, a couple of cyclists walked in, I grumbled about our cursed situation, when one of them said he happened to have a spare tube of the right size…….. (sorry about the pun) but it saved our bacon. The moral of this little story is: always help out a fellow traveller if you can.

We finally made it to our destination in Hungerford and relaxed over an excellent meal in one of the local hostelries. All’s well that ends well…….IMG_20180802_155109

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 August 2, 2018, in Bristol-Newbury by tandem and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ah the dreaded p word Frank … I feel for you,especially on the back wheel. But at least sounds like you did not have a drum brake to disconnect! That really is the pits!


  2. We were in the area a few weeks ago on our BCQ hunt. Nice countryside, but as you say, hilly too. Did you get to see the Crofton Beam Engine?


  3. Ah yes, reminds me of a tandem puncture on a cold winter evening, just too far from home to walk. But we did have to walk to the entrance to a farm so their security lighting could be used while we tackled the puncture. Unfortunately the other part of their security system was their sheepdog – which barked continuously for the half hour it seemed we spent fixing it!


  4. I remember having a drum brake on the old Peugeot tandem… absolute pain when we had a p…xxxxx


  5. We did……though not to stop and go in….we were running a bit behind schedule.


  6. Ha! Punctures never happen at convenient times nor in convenient places.


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