I decided, back during natsu yasumi, that it would be a good thing to ride my bike to school this term. I had originally pegged the trip at being about 50 km one way which is too long for a reasonable commute and a life at home. However, when I measured the distance on Google Earth, it turned out to be closer to 30 km. I figured that was doable.

So, the week before school started, I hopped on my trusty steed and headed for Nagoya. I arrived at the school with only a little difficulty in just under 2 hours. I was tired and it was a hot day. The trip home, although marred by a flat tire, took about 90 mins of actual riding time. It was then decided that I would ride my bike to school. After all, it took the same amount of time as taking the train and it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

Here is what has happened since...

Friday, Sept 1...staff meeting in Downtown Nagoya means I take the train.

Saturday, Sept 2...bike tune-up at Cycle Base Asahi.

Sunday, Sept 3...went for a ride with Kelly on the dyke and noticed that there was a lot of rocks on the road from the guys who cut the grass. I didn't notice hitting any rocks.

Monday, Sept 4...flat front tire. Switched the tube and headed out and made it to school on time.

Tuesday, Sept 5...uneventful...aside from a major headwind all the way home.

Wednesday, Sept 6 (morning)...flatted about 2 km from school...pumped up the tire and kept riding (repeat 2x). Fixed the flat at school.

Wednesday, Sept 6 (afternoon)...flatted about 1 km from home...walked the rest of the way in a very bad mood and spent the evening repairing tubes.

Thursday, Sept 7 (needed to get home quickly to leave right away for karate)...flatted about 20 mins into my ride home, repaired the leak, put the tire back on the rim and tried to pump up the tire...the air just hissed out. I thought it was the pump I was using which has provided some grief for me. I was wrong. It was the other two holes from the same nail. I patched them with my last patch. I finally got the tire pumped up and ready to put back on the bike when I heard the air hissing out again. This time it was the valve. Time to phone Kelly with a heads-up that I may need a ride home. I managed to get one of my spare (already patched) tubes to hold enough air to continue. By this time, I was delayed an hour...karate was out of the picture. On the way home, I kept noticing what I thought were columns of smoke along-side the trail. They were little tiny insects. There were hundreds of these swarms. I had to ride through them with my mouth closed. They stuck to my body.

Friday, Sept 8...no spare tubes, I took the train.

Sunday, Sept 10...purchased some Specialized Flak Jacket tires that are supposed to greatly reduce the likelihood of a flat tire.

Monday, Sept 11...new tires worked great!

Tuesday, Sept 12...woke up to another flat! Apparently Flak Jacket protection isn't enough. Put my last tube in and tried to pump up the tire...nothing doing. Finally got it to work by bringing it inside to show Kelly that it wasn't working. Headed off to school, realized that I had no tubes, no patches and a real good chance of flatting again. I turned around and took the train.

So, I have ridden all the way to school and back on 6 days. I have had 6 flats. I am frustrated. I have no spare tubes and no patches. Tomorrow, I will take the train.


Dad said...

Maybe the problem is with the rim(s).

Rachel Z said...

maybe your steed is more rusty than trusty.

Dad said...

Wheelbarrow tires can be filled with a type of foam when they are used in places where they are subject to punctures. Are there solid or semi-solid bike tires available?

Vertigo said...

The problem is not the rims. 3 of the flats were obvious b/c I pulled debris out of the tire during the switcheroo. The other three were pinch flats. There is a tremendous amount of junk on urban roads. I suppose after a few weeks I would have cleaned it all up. I just can't risk being late for school which would mean I would forfeit my 10,000 yen perfect attendance bonus.

The steed is not rusty. I bought it new in April.

I have also been wondering if there are any solid or semi-solid bike tires on the market. Maybe there needs to be?

I have decided that I gave the cycling all the way to work a pretty decent try. I will find other means of transport.

Vertigo said...


about half-way down the page on the right side they have wheelbarrow tires.

Anonymous said...

Boo at airfreetires.com!!
Extremely bad service, been waiting for 5 months for an answer!!