The dreaded puncture, all the worse in winter

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Puncture on the bike ridge home

©Barry Sandland//TIMB – Punctures are unfriendly to the best rides, but having a few extra souls alongside to help with the repairs always helps.

On a cold day, on the ride home, a flat tire is just irritating.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Fixing a puncture

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Fixing a puncture on the ride home. Always better with a little support.

I only had the iPhone in my pocket when I came across this trio in the early evening last night, struggling to get a puncture repaired so they could continue their commute home. The photo quality is far from decent, but I like the look of the daily threat and the trio working together. There was plenty of joking, laughs and smiles, despite the cold. It helps…

The dread of every commuter is the inevitable puncture. They always strike when you do not want them (when do you ever want a puncture?). And getting caught in the cold makes it all the more difficult.

I know these three from sight. They are distinct, with their jackets, jerseys and speed. Every day, they ride through my corners and disappear up the road. Today, their commute sabotaged by a flat tire.

But the distance commuters, the faster, more attired riders often see each other on the road, riding the same course at the same time, then form their informal collective that rides to, or from, their destinations. When a puncture comes, there are friends to help with the repairs – and the group stays together, thick or thin, for the ride.

Commuting by bike works. For many reasons.

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