We met at the usual cycling rendezvous and quickly set off for Market Bosworth. The sunshine was strong and bright, a slight tailwind helping us along as we reached 23mph. These bikes move fast - I can't really notice any difference compared to my carbon bike - until the road rises - uphill they're harder, but only because the gearing is much higher with a 53 chainring and the largest rear cog only 22. No matter - we managed to climb the hill to the town centre without any heart attacks.
|At the cafe|
|`You fix the puncture, I'll pretend to be an aeroplane'|
We left for the return journey and split up at Congerstone with me taking the high road to home. At the top of the hill - Pffffshhhhh - puncture! The perennial problem with tyres and, consequentially, punctures on these old machines is two fold - 1) They are fitted with tubular tyres - no inner-tubes, so roadside repair means removing the old tyre and replacing with a new one - which has to be glued onto the steel wheel rim. 2) The tyres don't have the same level of anti-puncture protection afforded by modern clincher tyres - in other words they are more susceptible to punctures!
The immediate problem for me was that I'd forgotten to bring a spare tyre (aargh) - thankfully I wasn't far from home and I managed to slowly ride there on the flat tyre.
I've now ordered a couple of spare tyres and have just completed a repair of the punctured one - a lengthy process involving pealing off the cloth tape glued (welded?) to the underside of the tyre, undoing the stitched tyre casing to reveal the tube, repairing the tube with a patch, re-stitching the casing and supergluing the cloth tape back on - took me over an hour! - hopefully should be okay though?