My morning took a downturn when I unlocked my bike and realised the back tyre was flat; even more so when it failed to hold the air I tried to pump into it. This is my first flat since getting back on a bike when I came up to Oxford about four years ago. By and large, that should count as a fortunate history but it does mean that my puncture repair skills are quite rusty.
I don’t know if more recent practise would have made any difference in this case. Once I’d removed the wheel from the bike, the tyre from the wheel and the inner tube from the tyre (technically also from the wheel but that doesn’t roll off the tongue so well!) it appeared that the problem was how the valve was seated on the tube rather than a hole elsewhere.
I have subsequently picked up a couple of spare tubes and what I hope will be a better pump. I hope that tomorrow morning will not be too wet as that is when I will have to try and fix the thing or otherwise face a long walk into work (extra long as I have an all-day meeting over at the JR). It would be lovely if I could go another four years without further problems but, failing that, at least I will have some more experience to draw on.