Ghost visitiation


puncture repair kitI really thought that in my line of work I was exempted. Surely, I bring in more people in everyday to the fold, so there are
more new cyclists for them to visit, and more cyclists to bring them offerings? My little way to keep them happy.

But no …

Yesterday when I was getting Stella (my fixed bicycle) ready for the summer (I simply haven’t been on her since I got the Tank, my Surly Long Haul Trucker last year) I got the pump out and while I was at it, I thought that it would be a great idea to check the Tank over since it had been a while since I last checked its tyres. The pressure was only 5-10psi under what I normally run, so not too bad. It was a quick top-up.

But, this morning when I rolled the Tank out of the front door, I noticed that the fairies had paid a visit. A quick check, and the tyre wasn’t totally flat, so I decided that I would just top it up and hope that it would last until I got to work. I’d fix the visitation in my lunch break. But half way there I had to stop and apply a bit more air, which only lasted a few more miles before I was gliding all over the place.

Since it was clear that I had a flat, I got the OK from my co worker to quickly swap inner tubes, so that we could get going. Check the tyre and rim tape and there were no foreign objects, so I fitted my spare and 10min later we were rolling.

At lunch I pumped up my inner tube which clearly should have traces of a visitation and it just sat there looking at me. Nothing, nada, zilch it just kept the air inside it. I pumped it at bit more and had a good sniff, feel and listen and yet still nothing to be found.

This is the second time I have had a ghost visitation. A few months back it happened and that time I thought that it was real too, since my tyre was getting a bit worn. En route to the pub I started to glide around, so pumped it up. A few minutes later I was gliding again, so I swapped the inner tube. The tyre lasted until I got to the pub. After a quick pint I found that the tyre was flat again. Bugger.

Thinking that in the hurry to get to the pub I must have mixed up my spare with inner tube that I just took out, I managed to limp home with a few stops to re-fuel the inner tube with air. I sat down to patch up the visitations, only to find that only one of the inner tubes had a visit. I swapped the old tyre to my new Marathon +’s and checked every thing over just to be sure, to be sure.

Today’s visit is clearly telling me that I still need to do my offering to the p*nct*ure fairies even in my line of work. And it does tell me no matter how well protected you are with Kevlar etc they will still get to you if you forget.


  1. Smugness is what gets you in the end, I’m convinced of it. I was getting much too smug with my single-speed folder until last week. Then what with potholes’n’all I did three spokes on the real wheel and discovered that 178mm spokes are as rare as hens teeth. (it has 20″ wheels and a coaster brake hub). Fortunately the weather was kind and my east to west commute bike-all-the-way was rather fun.

    I’ve come across this haunting before, I’m assuming you run high pressure in yours, schrader or presta valves? I’d put 20p on them being schrader. Hence, no leak at low pressure outside the tyre. Still dead whichever way you look at it.

    • Preasta valves so you owe me 20p Ham :) I run around 5psi under the max of 85psi on my touring bicycle.

      I saw your post about your new Dahon and it is ranking very high on my N+1 list. I had a go on a friends last year it is well fun and easy to ride.

  2. Ah well, put it on my tab.

    Never mind the small drawbacks, I really love the Mu Uno and would recommend it to anyone. Just reckon on having to replace the saddle if you are going to ride it over 20 miles (I’ve got a Brooks on it now). Other things I’m considering adding/changing: mudguards (but they spoil the clean no-nonsense nothing to catch/drop off), s/speed tugger/tensioner, smaller cog (64″ gear is a little low for me) and, if I want to abandon the folding pedals, maybe better flats or spd.

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