Cycling Truths #2

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.

A visit from the puncture fairy (Photo: Fanny Schertzer - Wikimedia CC)
A visit from the puncture fairy
(Photo: Fanny Schertzer – Wikimedia CC)

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.

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8 comments

  1. The fastest the puncture fairy struck was after less than 5 miles on a new tyre, the side wall ripped & a big explosion ensued. Luckily just 1/2 mile from home as we’d doubled back from our meeting point. So maybe there was a slight purple haze working in my favour that time?

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  2. Oh good golly! Checked out your blog for the first time yesterday, read this last night and as I was merrily riding home this morning after pretending I was Dani King what should pop into my head but ‘the puncture fairy’. I tried to not think of it but it was inevitable and her arrival was within 2 miles! I am very proud though that I managed to sort myself out by the side of the road with no call of shame to hubby! My first puncture and a massive increase to my confidence bizarrely 🙂

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    • Ha ha…sorry you got a puncture, but glad my puncture fairy theory holds true! But hey, now you’ve got the first one out of the way it should plain sailing. Thanks for stumbling across my blog.

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  3. […] Occasionally the sun dips behind a large cloud, for minutes at a time, and the sudden temperature drop is alarming. “Don’t get a puncture, don’t get a puncture, don’t…” rolls on a mental loop, as the thought of fixing one with cold claw-like hands puts me on high alert. Despite being the most coldly logical person I know, I know better than to provoke the puncture fairy. […]

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