Well bugger me. I had seen in old books that when fitting a tyre you are supposed to finish at the valve. Yeh right, believe that and you will believe anything. At Mosscrop Cycles old Jim Cadwell finished opposite the valve and if it was good enough for a veteran of the First World War cycling corps it was good enough for me. After all you wouldn’t want to be caught trying to mend a puncture the wrong way with the Germans lobbing shells over.
So today I was building up a “Bitza” to take to Mallorca next month and the front wheel has a Mavic module 3cd rim that I knew was always tight. The tire was a new Specialised Turbo R 700cx28. Well when I say new it is actually about twenty years old but it was straight out of the box. Now I haven’t been well lately indeed I have had flu if not worse and I am certainly not feeling myself. I have been so ill that despite continuous sunshine for a fortnight (well obviously not at night) I haven’t got one mile in. Anyhow I couldn’t get the tyre on the rim try as I might and God knows I tried, I struggled until my thumbs were sore, stopped for a cup of tea, tried again and still the last four inches of tyre were resisting all efforts.
So I did what I should have done an hour earlier, I tried the method shown in Dunlop adverts in the fifties, I finished at the valve and on the tyre went at the first attempt. What a plonker but as they say you are never too old to learn.
Organiser Leon van Vliet thought he had a problem on his hands when he learnt that the Icelandic Ash flying ban extended to the TV helicopters in Sunday’s Amstel Gold.
Fortunately the TV station NOS managed to obtain a dispensation after enrolling the help of the mayor of Valkenburg.