My Day of Many Flats
Fixing a Flat a recurring theme of the day photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fixing a Flat
a recurring theme of the day
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

Manseki and I rode into the mountains of northwest Kyoto to check out some roads I found on the map that we'd never ridden, but in trying to continue after a rest pause, I found my rear tire was flat. It must have been a slow leak of some sort.

Small Puncture but big enough to cause a weak point for the next tube to fail photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Puncture
but big enough to cause a weak point for the next tube to fail
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Adding a Tire Boot and a New Tube photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Adding a Tire Boot and a New Tube
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

Once on our way, we came to the first road to check out, which starts here.

Like so many of Kyoto's rural roads, it was lovely.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Roads Diverged In a .... photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Roads Diverged In a ....
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

We tried both. The one toward the left quickly became gravel so we abandoned it.

Checking Ahead to see whether pavement returns any time soon -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking Ahead
to see whether pavement returns any time soon

The other continued nicely...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Danger Zone you wouldn't want to hit that gap at any speed -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Danger Zone
you wouldn't want to hit that gap at any speed
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

And then I got a flat on the front.

Sigh, This Again photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Sigh, This Again
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

The road was in good condition, so we don't know what caused the puncture, but there was a hole in the tire similar to the first one. It, too, would have to be replaced when I got home. For now, I could use a new tube and a tire boot to protect the tube from the hole.

These Vittoria Open Pave tires were disappointing, since they were new just 2,690 km (1,670 mi) ago. I barely got three months of use from them.

During Better Days One of the Vittoria Open Pave tires 2,690 km before I had to replace it -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 5600 — image data
During Better Days
One of the Vittoria Open Pave tires 2,690 km before I had to replace it
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

The tires had gotten dirty from the sometimes-wet road, so I had the bright idea to wash them off in the river, which was right there....

Heading Down to Wash the Tire photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down to Wash the Tire
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Manseki Gets All Artsy with the composition photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Gets All Artsy
with the composition
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

While working on the front tire, the mini bicycle pump I carry just stopped working. It was fine one minute, seizing up and unpumpable the next. I would have been really stuck if Manseki hadn't been there... he gave it a go with his pump...

Manseki to the Rescue -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki to the Rescue

While he worked on that, I addressed a different problem I'd just noticed with the rear tire. When replacing the tube earlier, I hadn't seated the bead fully in one spot, so to fix that I needed to let the air out and refill it.

Unfortunately, I ran into all kinds of trouble. First, his pump doesn't work well with removable-valve stems, which I find out now is what I have. To have any hope, you've got to tighten the valve into the stem before attaching the pump, but apparently these valves are made from wet tissue paper, because the first one got completely sheared off when we tried to unscrew the pump...

Sheared Clean Off photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sheared Clean Off
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

This somehow caused the pump to become attached to the wheel... it took quite a while, and some leverage with a pair pliers (that Manseki amazingly had) to overcome. Sigh. I cannibalized a valve from one of the old tubes.

Final Top-Off photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Final Top-Off
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

The body count: two tires, two tubes, an extra stem valve, and my tire pump. Then add to that our plans for the day: with this run of luck, we decided it would be prudent to just turn around and go home, slowly and carefully.

Retracing Our Steps it's still a lovely road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Retracing Our Steps
it's still a lovely road
Ryuta Mitsuhashi stopped to chat when we came across each other as he headed out of town -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ryuta Mitsuhashi
stopped to chat when we came across each other as he headed out of town
Returning To His Ride -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Returning To His Ride

Despite the cursed ride, I wasn't in a bad mood, and I was certainly thankful for Manseki's company, skill, and tools.

But as un-bad as my mood was, it was made infinitely better when we came across a cyclist who looked a bit lost...

Offering Directions photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Offering Directions
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

It turns out that she wasn't lost, but she was visiting from overseas and didn't know the area, so we told her a bit about the Heart Loop she was doing. (I wrote about this popular 50km loop in northern Kyoto last year.)

She was dressed in Strava kit, so I knew she used Strava. We'd be able to see each other on the Strava fly-by feature, which shows cyclists you passed on your route, so as we were leaving, I introduced myself so she'd know which one was me.

And here's where the infinitely better mood came in. Her face lit up and she said I think I know you... it's your blog where I read about the Heart Loop. It turns out she's following one of my recent activity tracks to lead her on her ride today.

Manseki introduced himself as well, to which she responded Yeah, I guess I've seen you on his blog before.

That was a nice little ego boost. 🙂

At home now, I've thrown away the tires and put on some Michelin Pro4 Endurance V2, and ordered a new bike pump (to be delivered tomorrow via the magic of Amazon Prime).


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

The German company Schwalbe makes flat-less tyres. I’ve been using their marathon plus tyres on my tour bike for years and have never had a flat. Apparently they also makes variants for road bikes. Perhaps it’s worth looking into: Schwalbe website.

— comment by Daniel Cutter on June 1st, 2016 at 10:17pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the pics of the trek. So peaceful up there amongst the trees. Srry about your tire. Maybe try a toughy strip?

— comment by book nerd on June 2nd, 2016 at 2:05pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

That’s pretty nice, that you ran into someone who learned of the heart loop from your blog. 😀

— comment by David G on June 4th, 2016 at 1:25am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I to have considerable experience of many brands of tyres and high mileage …on not great roads ( ignored for years in England while tax gets throw away on all manner of nonsense…and dreaded flint chippings being common in this area) forget those you are using , or any of the Michelin ones either……
++++1 on the Schwalbe ones. They make great ones that are balance between quite light performance road , with good protection.
don’t cheat on worn tyres unless you like ruining the ride for everyone stopping to repair punctures. 2nd rule….never use a repaired inner tube, why would anyone bother. Don’t use ultralight inners either.

— comment by Paul on June 9th, 2016 at 1:24am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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