It’s only a matter of time before you get a visit from the Puncture Fairy*
(*credit for the phrase ‘puncture fairy’ goes to the All Seasons Cyclist)
Occasionally, you’ll have a spell of a few months where both tyre and inner tube remain miraculously intact. You’ll be out riding with friends and find yourself forced to hang around patiently as they beaver away, bike upturned, replacing yet another failed inner tube and desperately searching for whatever thorn or shard of glass is still lodged in the tyre. There’s always one in every group who is the main culprit here: known as the ‘puncture magnet’.
And yet you remain unscathed, seemingly immune to the uncountable hazards out there just waiting to deliver that heart sinking whhooosshhh of air.
There’s no rhyme or reason to this, of course. Your tyres and tubes are in good condition but, beyond that, there’s nothing about the way you ride a bike which causes you to avoid the puncture fairy; you are simply in a purple patch of good fortune.
After this prolonged run of good luck you actually stop even thinking about punctures as a possibility until, one day, you’re out in bad weather, perhaps the rain is coming down in rods, there’s a chill in the air and you find yourself woefully under-dressed. For some reason, that fateful thought crosses your mind, “hmmm”, you think, “I’ve not had a puncture for a while, I really wouldn’t like to get one now”. And with that thought you have set the clock ticking; it is now only a matter of time before you locate the nearest sharp object and ride directly over it.
It’s as if the simple thought of a puncture related worst case scenario rouses the puncture fairy from her unexplained sleep, and reminds her that you’re long overdue a visit.
I’m sure there are plenty of you out there thinking that this is superstitious nonsense of the worst kind, which it is, of course. Trust me, I’m the coldest and most rational non-believer out there, but go ahead…put yourself in the one place in your local area where you would least like to get a puncture, in the most inclement weather, and try goading the puncture fairy to see what happens…
…go on, I dare you.