Tuesday Tour

6th March 2018 - Langdon Cliffs Cafe & BV's Puncture Saga

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More clement weather resulted in 5 TT’ers pitching up at the pier at 10am, being Jonathan, Bill K, Bill V, Mike L and Malcolm. We were shortly joined by a hobbling David L, dressed in civvies and clearly not planning to cycle. Seems he had been a victim of last week’s ice  rink conditions when out walking, had taken a tumble, and badly sprained his ankle, and was thus hors de combat. It was nice of him to see us off. 

Whilst unity prevailed on targeting Langdon Cliffs, the route was not unanimous, and so Mike L and Jonathan elected the “Skylark” route, and Bill K, Bill V and Malcolm decided upon the coastal route. On the cycle path in front of the Walmer Bandstand, a crazy dog walker decided it might be fun to deliberately spread his arms out wide, one hand still holding a long dog lead with dog attached, when we were just feet away and heading towards him. The three of us missed him, but only just. He thought it very funny. Madness.

On we went, and all was well until Bill V suffered a puncture just before reaching the long slow hill climb up to St Margarets. Offers of assistance or loan of tools were declined, as Bill was confident he had all he needed and we should press on without him. Despite a modest head wind and some threatening black clouds over Dover, all reached the National Trust café at more or less the same time, albeit minus Bill V. 

The usual banter and catch up ensued, including Bill K bringing us up to date on his latest skis, and Jonathan on his ongoing battle in resolving a rodent infestation at a rental property. 

Our discussions concluded, Bill K headed off on his own route homeward, and the rest of us headed towards Deal in pleasant sunshine, with a following wind. Jonathan turned off at Kingsdown, and Mike L and Malcolm continued on. 

Just after re-joining the seafront cycle path near Walmer Castle, we stumbled across a remarkably cheerful Bill V, pushing his bike with a still very flat rear tyre. Apparently he discovered his tube had been pierced by a blackthorn, and so out had come his brand new spare inner tube, except once fitted, when he came to inflate it, the valve (the skinny type) was resolutely jammed closed and all effort to free it to accept air had failed. Abandoning the new, but faulty inner tube he resolved to repair the old tube, only to find it still leaked, as the blackthorn had double pierced it....at which point he had finally decided to push his bike home, and by now did not have too far to go. Having assured us he was fine and no assistance required, Mike L and Malcolm continued on without incident back to Worth via the Ancient Highway. An enjoyable ride of some 25 miles in total. (MB).

PS> Perhaps those of us carrying new inner tubes, often for several years before using them, should periodically check the valve has not jammed or deteriorated during such long storage?


Not too far along the cycle route from Kingsdown to St Margaret,s I picked up a big thorn and so a puncture. Assuring everyone that I had all the necessary repair wise, I upturned the bike & began.Of course it had to be the back wheel involving chain grease everywhere, nonetheless with the wheel off & innertube out, I took a brand new tube from its box — almost there.

However, the valve on the new inner tube was completely stuck and despite all my efforts it was not possible to inflate it. So, I decided I had to repair the old tube. Luckily of the three tubes of rubber solution with me, one was not totally solid & as I had found the leak I was hoping for the best.

Another however, the thorn was so large it had gone right through the tube and outt the other side.Another leak, another repair. Some air in the tube,now back on the wheel, tyre on, wheel on bike, toolkit back in saddle bag & more air in tube. Off I went.

Third however,still punctured!

It was a lovely day for a long walk, dry, mild, downhill with the breeze on my back. I felt blessed! (BV)


Corollary -Two days later:-
Bill: Did you read the blog?
Lance: Yes –why didn’t you ring me? –I could have picked you up,  I can’t cycle yet, but can drive.
Bill: I hadn’t got a phone with me!!


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