In the months that I've been cycling to work, and even in the years prior that I cycled only on weekends, I've never gotten a flat. I've often seen cyclists at the side of the bike path or road fixing a flat on their bike. Every time I see it, I can't help but feel for them. "That must really suck."
This morning I got to know what it feels like to be one of those cyclists. :( But I wasn't able to repair my tire.
I was about half way to work, not far from Major's Hill Park, when something didn't feel right about my bike. The rear wheel felt like it had a little too much side-to-side movement. I glanced down and it seemed ok. My first thought was that maybe the rear wheel was loose. I stopped at a traffic light and looked at it again. The wheel was fine, but the tire pressure seemed a little lower than a minute earlier. The light changed and I kept riding.
I decided that when I got to the top of the steep hill leading down to the Rideau Locks, I would get off the bike and have a better look at it. The last thing I was for my wheel to come off or have a full flat when I hit ~40kmh going down that hill.
As I approached the hill, I looked down at the tire again. It was flatter. I got to the top of the hill and dismounted. I pressed on the rear tire. It was definitely going flat.
I have a repair kit and pump with me all the time, but I don't have the tire levers. I'm not sure why I bother to carry anything with me when I don't have the tools to remove the tire.
I grabbed my cell phone and called my wife, whom I was sure would almost be at work by now — she was just passing my work, so yeh, she was almost at work. I told her I had a flat. She got off the highway, turned around and I met her in the Byward Market about 10-15 minutes later. We put my bike in the back of the truck and I drove her to work.
I'll be heading to the bike shop at lunch to pick up a new innertube and some tire levers.