Jaza's World Trip

Flat tyre in Mafialand

I woke up in my little field near Lercara this morning, only to discover that my bicycle's back tyre was completely flat. Eek! No idea how this happened: but since the tyre was fine all day yesterday, I can only assume that it got punctured by some sharp plant or rock, as I was wheeling it through the field yesterday evening. Worse still: when I attempted to change the tyre before setting off, I realised that I was unable to do so — despite having a pump and a spare inner tube, I had no tyre levers, and no spanner that was the correct size for undoing the back bolts (and yes, unfortunately the back tyre is bolts, not quick-release). Talk about a horrible start to the day — flat tyre in the hills of Mafialand, and no means of fixing it. What was I to do?

Thankfully, I managed to survive the flat tyre ordeal without too much heartbreak. The puncture must have been quite small: because I was able to pump the back tyre up again (without changing the tube), and to ride the short distance to the town of Lercara. Once in Lercara, I found a hardware store where I managed to purchase the spanner that I needed for undoing the back wheel — I had a set of flip-out allen keys and spanners, but none of them were the right size — as well as a set of tyre levers, and an additional spare inner tube.

It was a funny business, doing this bit of shopping in Lercara. I went to three different shops: and in the first two, the guys had the spanner that I needed, but it was their only one of that size, and they refused to sell it to me (claiming that they needed it, and that they couldn't get themselves another); while in the third, the guy didn't have the spanner that I needed, but he drove off and found a friend who had it, which he then procured and was nice enough to sell to me. The main thing was, that in the end, I got hold of all the bits and pieces that I needed.

Since the punctured tyre was holding up so well, I decided to pump it up again without changing it. The semi-flat tyre continued to survive for the rest of the morning's ride, until I made it to the town of Prizzi, where I finally changed the inner tube, and threw the old punctured one in the rubbish bin. So now, I've got a nice new inner tube in my back wheel, and I'm all set to continue the journey. Plus, I was lucky enough to be able to buy everything that I was missing in my puncture repair arsenal; which means that if I get another flat on this journey, I'll be properly prepared for it and won't need any more tools. Hopefully, however, that's the first and the last flat tyre for Sicily.

Filed in: LercaraCyclingShoppingOy veyEquipmentUnfortunate