Bike tyres are so much easier to fix

I was enjoying a lazy Saturday morning at home when the text message appeared on my phone:

Car has puncture

My wife had taken the car out to do some grocery shopping, and as she was driving out of the supermarket car park she realised the car had a flat. She had pulled over to the side of the road, but wasn’t entirely sure what to do next.

In the follow-up phone call, I established exactly where she was, and promptly jumped on by bicycle to go and help. I’m not really a car person, but I figured the between us we could sort it out.

In the busy Saturday traffic the ride to the supermarket was much quicker than if I had been driving myself.

When I arrived, we quickly established that the wheel needed to be changed. This was no slow puncture. A bolt had embedded itself in the tyre, and it had deflated very quickly.

Now I’ve dealt with loads of bike punctures in my time, but I’ve only ever had one experience of dealing with a puncture on a car before, and that was a long time ago. With a bike, it’s a fairly simple process to lever off the tyre and swap over the inner-tube – especially if you’ve had plenty of practice like me. But with a car, it’s a bit more scary, as you need to jack up over a tonne of metal, and swap over the entire wheel.

Anyway, with a quick check of the owner’s manual, and the fortuitous discovery of the locking wheel nut adaptor, we managed to swap over onto the temporary wheel from the boot, and were on our way again.

Of course, we then had to get the tyre changed at the local garage, and that process took several hours and set us back €85. But then again, everything to do with car maintenance is more complicated and expensive than with a bike.

I must remember that sentiment the next time I’m repairing a bike puncture at the side of the road in the rain!

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog

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