Be prepared: carry multiple spare tubes and a spare tyre
While most cyclists are prepared for punctures in winter, they’re less commonly anticipated in spring. Riders can venture out with nothing more than a single tube and a Co2 canister with them, leading to a long and uncomfortable wait for rescue by an unhappy spouse when supplies are exhausted.
Preparation is everything at this time of year when sudden and heavy rainfall can litter the road with sharp stones capable not only of causing a puncture, but also of cutting the tyre. If you’re riding with a group, nominating one member to carry a spare tyre or two is hardly onerous. Modern tyres are lightweight and foldable, so banish images of riders in the earliest Tours de France with a spare cover hooked over their shoulders.
Carrying multiple tubes is also a good idea, as is opting for something heavier than the lightest, but flimsiest latex racing tube. Relying on Co2 canisters is also unwise. A reliable pump, long-barrelled if you’re still on your winter bike and it’s suitably equipped with pegs, will make the inevitable repair a swift operation.
Get a headstart on your next ride by checking tyres once you’re home. Remove covers and check inside for signs of penetration. If you’re concerned that an inner-tube might be reaching the end of its useful life, replace it in the warmth of the garage, rather than the cold of the roadside. Replenish your stocks of tubes for the next ride. And check your pump: seals can perish with continued exposure to wet conditions and the last place you want to discover that your pump no longer works is stood on a verge, seventy miles from home.