I fully expected to have a puncture this morning.
This is because last night I attempted to get the buckle out of both front tyres (this is when they’re not seated on the rim absolutely correctly so that the reflective strip around them squashes in at one point – and when you ride you feel a slight bump). With Schwalbe Marathons this is easy – just pump them up to 100psi (I usually run them at 90psi anyway) and the buckle pops out. With Big Apples it’s a bit harder – we’ve spent more than an hour before now fighting with the things, including putting washing up liquid around the rim to help the buckle to pop out.
Anyway, yesterday’s ride included some lovely smooth cycle paths – along which I could feel a constant bump-bump-bump from both front tyres due the buckles. So last night I fetched the track pump and went down to fight with the tyres.
I decided to inflate them as much as I could until the buckle popped out. Unfortunately Big Apples are rated to 70psi max and at that level the buckles were still there. So I inflated the right one more… and more… and at 105psi out popped the buckle. Hurrah!
I deflated the tyre back to 60psi and worked on the other one which eventually, at 110psi and as I was about to lose my nerve, slid into its nice round shape.
As I was wheeling the bike back to its house by the mailbox I noticed – argh! – that although I’d popped out the buckle on the outside of the right hand side tyre, it still had one in the inside.
This was exceptionally annoying as I was hoping for a bump free ride. I was also pretty tired after pumping up both tyres to high pressures one-handed. But I wouldn’t let this tyre beat me.
I got it up to 115psi at which I decided I really ought to stop as when I flicked the tyre with my finger it felt totally solid. As I was rubbing my finger alongside the buckle area (to get rid of the dust so it would be obvious if it started moving outward) I felt a faint jet of air. Argh! It appeared that somewhere in the centre of the tyre was a puncture. I couldn’t feel exactly where it was coming from but it was undoubtedly a faint jet of air.
I couldn’t face repairing the puncture so let the tyre down to 60psi and went inside and had a shower (it’s hot work using a track pump when it’s 30 degrees outside).
Anyway, this morning I got up, got dressed ready for my ride and went downstairs with the track pump to sort out the puncture. Which wasn’t there! Not only that, overnight the Tyre Fairies had removed the buckle. The tyre stayed up throughout today’s ride, so all I can imagine the jet of air was is the escape of air between the tube and the tyre. But I won’t be surprised if I find a puncture in that tyre later.
Anyway, on to today’s ride.
I didn’t feel particularly energetic and fancied cycling on cycle paths alone, rather than roads, so decided to go up to the Altstadt again as that’s such a nice route alongside the Rhein. It’s only 8 miles to the Altstadr so I would decide what else to do when I got there.
I took a slightly different route through the Hafen area and saw the modern art building from the other side.
As it happens, I decided when I got to the Altstadt to cycle over a bridge which had an amusing bicycle helter-skelter; not as good as the one I saw further north on a ride a few days ago, but still quite good fun. I assumed there would be similar on the other side of the bridge but sadly there wasn’t so I shall have to go and find the proper helter-skelter one some other day.
I stopped halfway across the Theodor-Heuss-Brücke to photograph the view back to Düsseldorf.
The western bank of the Rhein has a rather bumpier cycle path; it would have been very good originally but tree roots have grown a bit and raised the asphalt in places, so I decided to cross back to the eastern side at the first bridge (the Hasselerbrücke). This is the bridge that has a funfair being constructed underneath it, and I saw this rather amusing sign in English – they need a Korrekturleser (word I have learned in my German course – proofreader).
I stopped off at the supermarket on the way home for some ice cream and banana for tonight. I’m off to my lessons in 45 minutes. Probably will have a puncture when I go downstairs…