What an interesting introduction to the world of cycle touring. I awoke to grey skies and the imminent arrival of rain. No sooner had I packed up and gotten ready to leave did the heavens decide to open. I waited a short while to see if the rain would lighten, I mean I couldn’t wait all day and besides it’s not like I can avoid rain for the whole trip. I seized the break in the weather and jumped aboard the bike. It must have been a matter of minutes after I left my friends house that the rain decided to come down hard again.
This cat and mouse game with the weather continued throughout the day. With the weather conspiring against me the last thing I needed 40kms in was a flat but that is exactly what I got. I’d gone 6 months with one rear wheel puncture so I was a little surprised to say the least. Nevertheless I went about my business of repairing the said puncture with little fuss.
My experience of punctures, and I’m sure they are the same with most people is that the immediate period following a flat is one of extreme paranoia that you’ll get another. A further 10km down the road and yes, you guessed it, the horrible sight of the front wheel going soft again. I’d carried out an extensive search the first time around for the cause and having thoroughly checked the inside and outside of the tire and also the wheel itself I was satisfied that all was well. I’d forgotten to mention that these road side repairs were also carried out in the rain. As I made my way gingerly into Zhangzhou I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see the wheel go flat again. This problem quite literally ran much deeper.
I was fortunate enough to stumble across a hotel as soon as I entered the city. The quality of the hotel is such that the man behind the reception wasn’t bothered that I was taking a mud covered bike up to the room. I eagerly got the bike in and whipped off both wheels determined to find the root of what was by now becoming an annoying problem to say the least. Without the heavy fall I rain and decent light I was able to locate the problem almost immediately. A small piece of glass had gone directly into the tire just enough to bury itself. The tiniest piece had poked through the tire and hence was causing the punctures. I breathed a sigh of relief as I eased it out with my pliers. However I won’t be entirely satisfied until I have ridden tomorrow puncture free.
I’m still smiling though, in many respects I suppose it’s good to start with a tough day. I mean things can only get better right? It was nice to be out albeit in the rain, tomorrow is another day as they say.
For some reason I can't seem to upload photos today so you will have to wait for all those shots of grey skies and rain!