Had a massive blowout on the road bike yesterday. Luckily I was at low speed having just started through an intersection after a red light. Heard a really loud pow-pop and was instantly riding on the rim. I must have ridden over something just awful. There was an inch-long slash right through the tire tread and inner tube. As always, I had a spare tube with me, but it took a little work to prep the tire. I’ve been carrying around a couple feet of duct tape with me for about a year in anticipation of this blowout. I taped both sides of the slash and placed a long strip of tape several layers thick in between the new tube and the tire before pumping up – otherwise the inner tube would have pushed right through the hole in the tire and popped again. I was able to limp home on probably about 50psi – I was only about 5 miles out.
Although these blowout events are pretty rare I would like to be a little more prepared for them in the future. On really long rides it’s probably a good idea to bring a spare tire. Maybe some thread and needle or fishing-line and needle to suture up slashes. I cut about a four inch piece out of the ruined tire when I got home and will carry that around to create structural support in between the tube and future slashes.
Right now I’ve got another old tire on the rear wheel and have continued riding this weekend. But I also ordered some new tires that should help me avoid most flats in the future - made by Schwalbe - I have tires from this company on Mindful Mule and they’ve been great. They’re a little pricy, but you’re supposed to be able to ride over glass and tacks and knives and such and not get flats so maybe in the end I’ll save money on tubes – and time off the road.