Category Archives: Mongoose Pubtruck

Pedalling with Little Dog

Every now and then I get a flash of inspiration.  And so it was, last Friday, as I was lacing up my shoes in readiness to pedal up town to the library.  Little Dog was watching me with keen interest, because those shoes represent ‘walks’, one of her favourite things.  When she saw me walk to the pushie, her furry face dropped in disappointment… seriously, it did! 

So, for some reason, I picked her up, plopped her in the old milk crate on the rear rack, and sailed off.  She thought it was brilliant!  I did a couple of laps up and down the street while my wife watched on, smiling and shaking her head.  “How’s she going?” I called.  “Alright,” came the reply.

Little Dog on cruise control

Little Dog on cruise control

So I lashed her lead to the crate, and set off for town.  100 metres down the road she jumped out, and hung there patiently while I steered to the corner and hauled her out of the chain and rear wheel by her lead.  A quick check revealed that she was ok, but her feet were covered in chain oil! 

It was the last time she jumped out though.  For the rest of the journey, up town and back again, she was content to watch the world slide by, shuffling from one side then to the other to check out the views. 

 

Copy of 100_1872 (Medium)

Back home I tipped her out and she made a point of strutting about in front of Dumbdog (honestly, I’m not making this up…)  Dumbdog isn’t so keen to get in the crate, and is too fat to do so anyway. 

I managed to clean most of the grease off her legs, noting the small cut on the inside of her leg possibly from the spokes, but she is keen to have another go, so now when she sees me lacing up my shoes her tail starts wagging wildly, now it’s either going to be a walk or a ride. 

Just what I need, another rod for my back!

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Tired of Tyres

One of the things that I’ve grown used to over in the last couple of years of pedalling is fixing flat tyres. 

For some reason, the people of my town seem to like depositing screws, nails, or staples on the sides of our roads and byways and my ‘gift’ is finding them, then puncturing my inner tube with them 🙂

My puncture repairing skills went into overdrive after purchasing a set of mountain bike road tires, of the Maxxis brand.  Great tyres, increased speed, good grip, and pretty snazzy coloured lettering on the sides (no, I didn’t buy them because of the lettering… but it did help!) I was rapt with them.

A sight I've grown 'tyred' of seeing, another Flat Maxtor :)

A sight I've grown 'tyred' of seeing, another Flat Maxxis 🙂

The only problem with them was keeping the damned things inflated.  At least once a week, I’d walk out to my bike to find a tyre had gone flat, usually the rear tyre.  

I’d sigh, then fix it.  After several weeks of gluing patches onto my tubes, I lashed out and bought two thorn proof tyres.  They worked quite well.  I was only getting punctures every 2nd week now… 

Then one sunny morning I turned to my wife and said, “Today’s the day!  I’m pedalling to Tannum Sands!”  Tannum being our local beach some 20 odd klm’s down the road.

I gave Pubtruck a quick once over, tossed my puncture repair box, some snacks and a towel into the case on the back and set off.  11 klm’s later the inevitable puncture occurred.  I pulled over near a small bridge, and popped the tyre off.  Yep, a large piece of wire was sticking out of the tube.  No worries, I had my trusty repair kit. 

I popped open the kit, and noted that I had 3 patches left, plenty to get me to the beach, then back home again.  Popping the tyre off, I had the tube out in no time, and was somewhat dismayed to discover that the wire had created 4 holes on it’s short journey through my inner tube. 

Okaaay… I managed to stretch a big patch over two of the holes, and used the remaining two patches to cover the rest.  I put it all back together, had a drink, ate a small pack of sultanas, before having a little stroll around the tidal creek I had pulled up in front of.  Twenty minutes later, certain that the glue had thoroughly dried, I whipped out my little hand pump, and started to inflate the tyre.  It went up.  It stayed up.  I got on, rode another 10 or so metres down the road and got another puncture.  This time it was a small rusty screw.   

I was toast.   

Further along the road I spied a road crew.  Minutes later my wife was winging her way to my rescue as I sat staring at my bike.  It was a nice day, the weather was perfect, the birds were singing in the trees, and I felt like kicking Pubtruck to pieces.  I decided against this course of action.  I would take it apart, put it in the car, then take it home and set to work on it with some of the more serious tools in my shed. 

I didn’t of course.  In the end I persisted with the tyres, but as well as carrying a fully stocked (jammed packed with patches) puncture kit, I also carried two spare tubes with me wherever I went.  The number of times those tubes came in handy over the last couple of years are beyond number.  One tube was retired a few months ago because it was literally covered in patches, and almost double its’ original thickness. 

But this morning, I strolled out to the shed, and found the rear tyre flat again.  This time I didn’t repair it.  I took both tyres off, inserted the two spare thorn proof tubes, and replaced the tyres with my old knobbies.  I have officially given up. 

'Pubtruck' sporting knobbies... and a super-handy, but terrible looking milk crate.

'Pubtruck' sporting knobbies... and a super-handy, but terrible looking milk crate.

The knobbies mean my top end speed will be approximately 5 kph slower, but they should provide me with the reliability that I now crave.  And as an added bonus, on the odd occasion when I’m pedalling on wet surfaces, they won’t spray a constant line of muck directly onto my face.  In addition to this, I’m now dirt track capable again.  I’m back baby! 

Tomorrow is another cycling day and I can hardly wait to hit the trails out the back of our home.  With a bit of luck the ol’ tyres will still be up when I stroll out to the shed…

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