Another flat tire
I was biking along, merry as could be. 40km biked and 40km to go, it was a nice day. I had plenty of time and nowhere to be except exactly where I was. A place which changed at the luxurious pace of about 15 km/hr.
Woah, that turn felt cool
Hey, so did that one…
Why am I going so slow?
I looked back at my tire, and what I saw there made me wonder a few things.
How far away is the closest bike shop?
Probably at least 10km
How will I find it?
Can I patch it?
Only if I can find the leak.
Is there some force in the universe that requires something to go significantly wrong every day of this bike tour?
Without a doubt.
In this random German village between Rostock and Güstrow (not the most notable location either), I pulled my bike on to a sidewalk and began pumping air back into my tire. As I felt the tire deflate, I realized that I was about to get to know this village a bit better than intended. I already had two flat tires on this tour, and felt this was a just amount. A third flat tire seemed a bit unfair.
During my 3rd pointless attempt at inflating my punctured tire, a middle-aged German man on a city bike pulled over to offer his help.
Nein. I pointed at my tire
“Dein Schlauch ist kaputt?”
Was ist Schlauch? My German studies quickly transferred from being an intellectual pursuit to a matter of necessity, my lukewarm efforts in the past month gaining a new significance. I shrugged in the way which seems to universally communicate “I don’t have any idea what you’re saying”
We talked in this manner for a few minutes, establishing that “Schlauch” was in fact a bike tire, and that I was a bit screwed. He did, however, request the aid of a guy sitting in a lawn chair in his garage across the street.
One helpful middle age German man biked away, the next waved me over to his garage.
Being that we were in his garage, he was better equipped to solve the problem. In addition, he knew a little English, and seemed to know something about bikes. We found the leak in my tire using a bucket of water, patched it, and talked in a mixture of English and German.
He offered me a beer, but I declined on account of the remaining 40km.
And on my way I went.