The pleasure of punctures

Sure, not everyone is prepared to say it. But I’d bet all of Wiggo’s pay packet that out on those long, fast group rides, 90% of us are often thinking it.

Thank heavens for punctures.


Far from being a harbinger of bad luck, the experienced road cyclist knows they’re actually a gift from the cycling gods. A chance to catch your breath. Replenish energy stocks. Lower your heart rate. And, above all, stand there on the roadside pretending you were feeling awesome all along.

Red lights offer some assistance, yes. But when you have a fully blown gasket, or are about to, it’s the longer relief of a complete tube change that can make all the difference.

Even better is when your new best mate (aka the flat-tyred one) is totally useless at performing this most basic of tasks. What can normally be done in a couple of minutes by an expert, can take him or her upwards of ten. You little beauty.

Of course, like most things in life there is a bell curve effect at play here. If the aforementioned punctured one is really slow at changing their tyre, they may actually take too long, leading your muscles to cool down, your heart rate to plunge, and your ride buddies to become so impatient that they take off at warp speed when you do finally get going again, dispatching you quickly back to the hurt locker from whence you came, in all likelihood with pulled muscles and a badly broken spirit.


3 thoughts on “The pleasure of punctures

  1. Only just getting into this wonderful sport of trying to pop a heart valve several times a week I am hearing you Pete. As a matter of fact I think you have found some dark and sinister way of reading my mind…..or is that way of reading my dark and sinister mind……
    Mind you on solo rides, punctures can be soul destroying as we all know…..

  2. Ah yes, the cruelty of a ride where every light changes to green just as the group slows to an almost standstill, thus requiring repeated surges of energy to stay attached at the back.

    And talking of being and suffering on the back, there is the problem of being stuck there for too long because the front riders don’t roll over with regularity and timeliness! Worse is when your group tacks on behind another group and the roll overs cease altogether! Then a puncture becomes a gift from the cycling deities!

    1. Personally I can’t stand punctures. It always annoys me when someone gets a puncture, feels awful when I get one! The hurt is the best, the thrill of riding in a fast group, the drama of just hanging on from point to point can’t be matched by everyday activities, including riding on ones own. Punctures break the rhythm, turning an awesome hit out into a real drag.

      And if you reaaaaally love punctures get the Michelin pro4’s – 15 punctures in 4 weeks!

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