On the way into work this morning I made the mistake of riding through some leaves while making room for a car to pass on Garfield.  As luck would have it the thick layer of leaves near the curb masked a pretty decent pot hole and my back wheel took the brunt of it.  A block later as I pulled out onto Rockwood my rear wheel went completely soft and I realized I had just sustained the dreaded pinch flat.

Thankfully I had a spare tube, so I crossed the street and leaned my bike against a utility pole in the little grass median that flanks Rockwood, unpacked my pannier and commenced changing the tire.  I didn’t time myself, but based on when I got into work I think it took me less than 10 minutes to get rolling again.  My bike mechanic skills are still pretty marginal, but I’ve got the tire and tube changing thing down.

I’m actually getting the hang of patching tubes now too.  Once I got into work and had a chance to inspect the original tube I found the two tiny holes indicative of a pinch flat pretty quickly.  I wasn’t completely out of patches in my patch kit so I set to work and 15 minutes later (interspersed with some software installs- I was at work after all) the tube was actually able to hold air again. I’m going to need to pick up another patch kit soon since I’m down to two now, but those should hold me for a little while at least.

On a final tire/tube/wheel related note, I’m holding off on installing my studded Nokians until it gets a little colder.  So far November in Spokane has been a lot warmer and wetter in the morning than October was so studs wouldn’t be of much value.  The biggest issue I’ve run into lately is negotiating potholes on my dark evening rides home; that in itself might be a good reason to break out the Norco and its fat tires a little more often before the snows flies.