Monday, 10 June 2013


"You're blooming joking" (or words to this effect)
"What is it?"
"Flat tyre."

These two little words send shivers down my spine.  A twitch begins in my left eye and a tremor commences in my hands.  Blurred vision shortly follows.  Am I having a migraine?  Gayle unloads her bike and we turn it upside down.  I recall three years ago in Laos meeting a young Australian on the road who was cycling in SE Asia.  He carried a ready supply of inner tubes and when he got a puncture, he just threw away the burst tyre and put a new one on.  He didn't bother with a puncture repair kit.

After our Debacle Day on the Amalfi coast we bought new patches and glue, and got new inner tubes.  The punctures are not coming from through our German- branded Schwalbe tyres but from the inside of the tube.  It's taken me a long time to realise I should have replaced the rim tape on our wheels.  As it happens the damage to the tube looks unrepairable.  I can't bear it - I can't even repair the puncture.  I have to lie down. I have to close my eyes. Om mani padme hum and all that.  Just give me a moment......

I dream of roads in Italy with sensible drivers and sensible road signs.....

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