Monday 16 January 2012

Worst day of the year is behind me

You couldn't make this up:

Monday morning, freezing cold and twiddling to work on my Brompton and I hear the dreaded hiss of a puncture.  It was the same wheel as last week so the slash in the tyre from the glass shard was clearly worse than I thought.  I knew where the slash was so determined it would be a straightforward patch without the need to remove the wheel so I stopped in the Southwark bridge tunnel to make good.  Coincidentally the walls of the tunnel are covered in a frieze depicting the Thames frost fairs.

I repaired the puncture pretty swiftly and resumed my cold cycle to work but only got beyond London bridge when the tyre exploded with a sound like a gun being fired.  It certainly gave the nearby pedestrians an early morning jolt.

Without a spare inner tube, I had no choice but to fold the Brompton up, put it in it's bag and lug it to the nearby Monument station to catch the DLR.  £8.40!!!

This clearly wasn't to be my lucky day...  Having bought my ticket, carried the 10kg bike down to the DLR platform I then found the service wasn't; points failure meant that the trains were running slowly and busily and I eventually got to my office one hour later than normal.

A quick trip to Evans Cycles at lunch time revealed that they didn't have any spare inner tubes in stock (despite admitting that they sell huge numbers of Bromptons.) I bought a replacement tyre and recalled having a spare inner tube at home, so the return DLR ticket was going to come in handy.

DLR to Bank was straightforward but I wasn't too happy at the thought of carrying the bike down the length of Cheapside to get to City Thameslink so I decided to continue on the Northern line to St.Pancras where I was met with a crowd of people being turned away from the Thameslink platforms due to signal failures.  I made the decision to travel on the next running Midlands Mainline train to Bedford and hope that a City Thameslink service would be running to get me back to home.

I eventually got home 2.5 hours after leaving the office.  A total of nearly 5 hours commute!

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