I had a decision to make this morning – either walk to work again, or repair the punctures on my bicycle. Given that the walk takes perhaps three quarters of an hour, and that it was spitting with rain, I fished my bicycle tools from their hiding place in the junk room, and dragged my rather sad and dejected looking bicycle from the shed.
After a few minutes in the rain I found the puncture, prepared a patch to stick over it, and opened the tube of glue that has been sitting in the puncture repair kit since it was bought perhaps two or three years ago – and discovered the glue had mysteriously evaporated.
I walked back into the kitchen, hands caked in oil and dirt from the bike, and looked at the clock. I could still walk to work, but would be late. Dammit.
Fifteen minutes later – while nearing town – a mental process of sorts kicked in, and instead of turning left and continuing on towards work, I turned towards the cycle shop that wouldn’t be open for another half an hour, but is fortuitously situated just round the corner from a cafe. I emailed work – letting them know I would be an hour or so late.
And that’s how I ended up buying a tube of glue this morning. Quite possibly the smallest transaction I’ve ever been involved in at the cycle shop.
After trudging home through now persistent rain, I fixed the puncture, and re-assembled my bike. It’s worth noting that getting a bicycle tyre and inner-tube back onto a wheel is one of the darkest arts known to man. It’s also worth noting that while performing this dark art, I noticed that the still-inflated rear tyre of my bike was almost bald – with patches of canvas exposed around its circumference.
Guess who will be returning to the bicycle shop in the coming weeks for new tyres that he can ill afford?