Tag Archives: pinch flat

RIPTA is my SAG Wagon

For a definition of SAG Wagon, please refer to the good book of Sheldon Brown, Chapter Sa—So.

A few days before my accident, I had the unfortunate experience of catching a pinch flat from hitting a massive pothole on Canal Street at about 18 MPH. I could feel the hit and thought “oh man, that’s not good.” I looked down at my bike and didn’t see any apparent damage. I could really feel the hit on my front wheel, but when I got to work, my front wheel and tire looked fine, but my rear tire was looking mighty spongy. I took a peek at my bike later in the day to find this:

A completely flat rear tire. I know that I should always have a patch kit, spare tube and pump on me at all times, but I just don’t keep those with my commuter because my ride is so short (I think I’ll changes this practice once I’m back on the saddle). Also, I don’t live in Cambridge where cyclists are lulled into a false sense of security by one of these public bike-repair stations located every three blocks:

(h/t to Jon of Wobbly Music for the link)

Because I no longer live in the Cyclists Republic of Cambridge, I had three options:

A. Walk the bike 1.5 miles home. This could be kind of damaging to the tire and the rim. Also, not particularly fun.

B. Remove the wheel, take it home for repairs and bring it back the next day. This would have required walking a few miles while carrying a wheel, looking like I stole it.

C. Put the whole thing on the Bus and ride home. This would cost $2.00 and save me some trouble and embarrassment.

I chose option C. Although I have been disparaging of RIPTA in the past, I’m glad that they have bike carriers on the front of all of their full-size buses. It certainly came in useful that day.