puncture

Quick tip: How to repair an inner tube

Having had several punctures in a row it happened to me. It was freezing cold, I had run out of spare inner tubes and was 20 kilometers from home, in the countryside. What you always can do, is call a taxi or a friend to pick you up. If that's not an option, or you wanna ride your bike, there is an option.

This is a quick tip that I learnt from the Global Cycling Network. 

  1. Locate the hole in the inner tube
  2. Make sure there is only one hole, try to add some pressure with a hand pump
  3. Try to locate what caused the puncture, is there a hole in the tire or something in the rim? Remove any sharp objects.
  4. Make a loop around the hole to isolate the hole from the rest of the inner tube
  5. Make the knot really tight
  6. Place the now really tight inner tube on the rim (it will fit if the knot isn't too big)
  7. Place the tire back on and pump
  8. Good to go!

What's neat with this, it actually works pretty well and you can keep going for several hours without problems. Actually, when I tried this, the tube held a 7 bar pressure for a day. Not bad!

Global Cycling Network has loads of more tips for repairing tires and inner tubes, check their YouTube channel here.

Check the whole video below!

Out cycling and punctured all your inner tubes? We've got a couple of ways to get you home. Follow GCN on YouTube: http://gcn.eu/gcnsubs Puncturing all your spare inner tubes is one of those things that you hope never happens when you're cycling. It's worth being prepared just in case disaster strikes.

Hope you will find this useful, at least I did!

Watching the People's Choice Classic with a steaming cup of Italian Coffee

Enjoy, it's soon Friday!

    Cycling in cold weather and snow

    After a long period  without snow here in southern Finland the really cold weather is back. The temperature has stayed between -10 and -20 degrees, hence I've stayed inside doing trainer exercises all week. But today since the sun was finally shining, I decided to take a ride despite some -15 degrees celcius. It was also a perfect weather to try out my new winter cycling shoes, the Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes. 

    The Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes

    The Northwave Fahrenheit GTX (Gore-Tex) Winter Road Shoes

    I also had suffered many punctures lately and made a thorough check on the tires. And it struck me how bad that gravel they shovel on the icy roads really are for tires. They're sharp as glass and really cut through those tires, had several smaller pieces that had made some small damage already, and one that had cut through and caused the punctures.

    That "gravel" is like glass

    That "gravel" is like glass

     I repaired the tire, changed the inner tube and headed out. I wore several layers of warm clothing, breathable and windproof. That's a must do if you are riding in temperatures below -10 degrees.

    Late afternoon

    Late afternoon

    After 10 kilometers I had to stop because my feet were freezing. Fortunately I had a pair of neoprene shoe covers with me, so I just put those on and continued. I would estimate that the Northwave Fahrenheit GTX Winter Road Shoes will be able to handle some -5 degrees but if the temperature goes below that, you probably want to add another layer on top of that. I'll review the shoes when I have more hours on them.

    Felt F65X bathing in sun...

    Felt F65X bathing in sun...

    After one and a half hour I made a short stop to take some photos. At this point it was - 15 degrees and a sign of cold weather could be seen as a layer of ice on my collar.

    Icy collar

    Icy collar

    Snowy scenery

    Snowy scenery

    Web IMG_3116.jpg

    Even if it was cold, I didn't freeze. But I guess my body still reacted to the freezing weather. I had a pretty high average heart-rate even if i didn't put much effort into pedaling. The sun was setting just before I got home. Have to admit it was pretty nice to watch.

    Web IMG_3125.jpg

    I had one bottle of warm water with me when I left home, but after 20 minutes it was already so cold I didn't want to drink it, and after one hour it was all frozen. When I got home the bottle looked like this:

    Web IMG_3127.jpg

    It seems we won't see much of the sun during next week, and the temperatures will continue to stay below - 10 degrees. Good thing I went out today and enjoyed the weather.

     

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Rapha Festive 500, almost there

    Having days 1-3 done, with almost 300 km ridden, I headed towards day 4 and 5. I started feeling myself a bit tired already, but wasn't prepared for what awaited me early on from day 4...

     

    Rapha Festive 500 - Day 4

    The day began with mixed feelings. The weather was good, the sun was shining for the first (and apparently last time) during this challenge, but I was tired and could have slept for a couple of more hours. But because the day is so short in Finland, I needed to get going. Immediately as I started I felt pain in my knees, both of them. I hoped it would just go over after a few kilometers, but it didn't. It was quite nasty, both knees felt as there would be a needle inside, and that needle picked the knee from inside with each pedal-stroke. Some 10 km in the ride I started thinking about abandoning, and made a stop at 20 km to give the knees a rest. After the short pause, I started pedaling, and it felt bad, maybe not as bad as moments before, but still bad. I decided to go on, the sun was shining and if my knees would collapse, I would call a taxi. Well I made those 107 kilometers, after many ups and downs.

    At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

    At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

    Felt F65X

    Felt F65X

    Amazing light, no more darkness!

    Amazing light, no more darkness!

    For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

    For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

    Second stop at 40 km

    Second stop at 40 km

    Neat little river

    Neat little river

    Never tired of having sunshine

    Never tired of having sunshine

    More nice light and river

    More nice light and river

    Still like the looks of the bike

    Still like the looks of the bike

    Web IMG_3026.jpg
    My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

    My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

    Almost smiling

    Almost smiling

    Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

    Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

    Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

    Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

    Then it was time for sunset

    Then it was time for sunset

    Last signs of light

    Last signs of light

    Arriving home, food awaited!

    Arriving home, food awaited!

    I never get tired eating good food

    I never get tired eating good food

    Rapha Festive 500 - Day 5

    I was afraid I wouldn't be able to continue today due to my knees. They still hurt but I decided to go for it. Putting on my legwarmers i realized what could have caused the knee-pain. I've been riding with both knee- and leg-warmers and this causes high pressure on the knee and forces the kneecap tighter to the knee. That would also explain why the whole knee is kind of tender to the touch as well. So today I rode without the knee-warmers. The ones I use are the Castelli Nanoflex warmers. The knees did hurt, pretty bad at times, but I managed to finish today's 65 km ride as planned. It was really chilly and windy, the coldest day so far, almost froze my feet. Luckily I had a pair of SealSkinz Winter Handle Bar Mittens with me. Perfect gloves!

    Freezing weather today

    Freezing weather today

    No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

    No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

    These saved my hands today

    These saved my hands today

    They really are warm

    They really are warm

    Day 4

    Day 5

    So one day to go, only 40 kilometers planned, but with my knees being sore, hard to even walk with, I won't party until I've really ridden all 500 kilometers. But if I make it, I just might celebrate the new year's eve with one for this one!

    raphaalmost.png

     

    Let's keep our fingers crossed

    A week of punctures

    Just a couple of weeks ago I talked to some friends about how few punctures I've had during the last couple of years, zero in fact. Well once again, one should never talk about those things, during last week I had three punctures. Luckily I've kept a reserve of tires and tubes, but still, it is somewhat frustrating to day after day have to make a stop because of a puncture. And before, driving into bumps and sand was no problem, but now, each time there is even a headwind, I look down at the tires and check if I have a puncture or not. And this again also proves that carrying replacement kit with you all the time is crucial.

    First puncture resulted in a big blast

    First puncture resulted in a big blast

    Fortunately it is easy to replace inner tubes

    Fortunately it is easy to replace inner tubes

    First puncture was caused by worn out tires, and the second and third was caused probably by too old spare-tubes. Apparently you should renew your reserves every year or so. Mine were three years old and it seems they get "old" during that time.

    A day later I was back changing tubes

    A day later I was back changing tubes

    The weather has been perfect, at the moment I'm sitting in the train from Helsinki to Turku and waiting to get out on the bike. It's +30 degrees and almost no wind. Makes me think of Italy almost. Talking about Italy, I have a cycling trip coming up in September. I'll write more about that later, but it'll be superb, really looking forward to it! 

    Waiting to get home

    Waiting to get home

    Enjoy the weather!