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At some point, every cyclist has gotten a flat and secretly wished they had a team car behind them.
team car.jpg


from Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery
 

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I know this is just a funny comic, but honestly, I feel like a wuss if I get help with a flat. There was a day in the spring that was just one of the worst commutes I ever had (broken FD, flat tire, 30mph head wind). I got a flat on my ride home and called my wife and asked her to come pick me up because I was so fed up. 30 seconds after I got off the phone, I realized I'd be far more upset if I didn't HTFU and deal with it. I called her back and said nevermind and I rode home. So glad I did. Those are the commutes that really matter.
 

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I barely know what a team car is, and I've never wished for one. Pffft, roadies.
You only say that because you've never had the pleasure (and it is a pleasure, a luxury really) of having a supported ride. Snacks and drinks with the raise of a hand, or a nice draft on a false flat with a headwind.

But as a practical matter, flatting is an opportunity to test ones mechanical ability and self-reliance. Or time to lighten the load by 12 oz.

Yehuda Moon was/is a great strip.
 

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I commented about how easy changing a flat is to the mechanic at a shop that used to sponsor my team. They're a slightly funny shop. They do mostly high-end road and tri stuff but they're on a major commute route. They'd be changing flats a surprising amount of the time when i walked in. He said that sure, it's easy enough to change a flat when it's light out and the weather's pleasant. But when it's dark and rainy, it's nice to go inside someplace warm, and have it taken care of.
 

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If I get an unfixable flat, I just walk, or ride the flat if the tire is old and wasted anyways. I haven't damaged a rim doing this, but I probably will eventually.

I figure by the time I call to deploy a car from home or find a bus with a bike rack I could be almost home.

I did call my wife once this summer on a non-commute road ride, when I blew out a sidewall 55km from home with carbon rims. That would have been a long walk in road shoes.

Back in the day when I was doing a time-sensitive day-care pick up on the way home, I used to have a spare tire pre-fitted around the spare tube in my pack (like a tubular almost) so I could just change the whole thing without having to find the tiny little shard of whatever that caused the flat and pick it out of the tire.

But yeah, all of the above are factors in my march towards complete tubelessness.
 

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Yes. Being able to call the "support wagon" is nice. Last time it was over 12 mies from home and my left leg had stopped working. A lovely pre-MS-symptom of mercury poisoning. By the time the lift came, it was no longer making me lock it out like an artificial leg. Walking home would, at best, been arduous. Crawling is so awkward with a bike to carry. :)
 

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Last time it was over 12 mies from home and my left leg had stopped working.
Ouch. 2 winters back I was doing some winter XC and dismounted to step over a culvert... onto a sheet of ice that wouldn't have been a problem for studded tires, but with unstudded shoes sent me down with a torn LCL.

After lying in the snow for about 5 minutes (to the concern of a passer-by) I decided I'd have to extract myself from the ravine one way or another, so one-legged riding it was. Once I got up to street level I was actually making far better headway than expected, to I just slogged on home in pain. I'm lucky I didn't do further damage, really shoulda called somebody that day.
 

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I commented about how easy changing a flat is to the mechanic at a shop that used to sponsor my team. They're a slightly funny shop. They do mostly high-end road and tri stuff but they're on a major commute route. They'd be changing flats a surprising amount of the time when i walked in. He said that sure, it's easy enough to change a flat when it's light out and the weather's pleasant. But when it's dark and rainy, it's nice to go inside someplace warm, and have it taken care of.
Meh...

I can clearly remember my last two flats - one was changed at the bus station down town in a downpour at 6:00 AM and the other was changed in a snow storm while sitting on a bench next to the trail at 3:00 PM in December in Alaska - so dark and cold. Yeah, it's nice to be able to do it in the warmth, but I don't know that it's any easier if you are good at it. Then again, I'm way too cheap to pay a shop 10 to 20 bucks to do something I can do myself.
 

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Only :knocks-on-wood: flats I've experienced have been thorns (3 occasions). Trouble with thorns the tyre goes down slowly and you don't even realize what has happened until your next ride when psi seems a little low.

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