Glentress 7 2019

It didn’t matter how much shouting and swearing I was aiming at the stubborn tyre valve, it wouldn’t shift. The minutes ticked by. Sally stopped and offered to help, but unless King Kong or someone with a large plumbing wrench arrived I was looking at a very irritating day indeed….

Sofia and I had been banging out laps in the Glentress 7 mixed pairs category for the past 5 or so hours. I figured that this would be my last lap of the course and all being well, we’d secure 2nd place.

Jersey from the Team JMC “Ice Cream Parlour” range. Shoes model’s own

Everything was going well on my final lap until I reached the top of the last descent when a loud ‘psssssssssssss’ instantly changed the happy, “ooo I wonder what I shall wear on the podium?” mood to a state of mild panic and disappointment.

As I listened to all of the air escape from my torn rear tyre, I hoped in vain that it would miraculously seal itself. I don’t care how bold the claims by tyre sealant manufacturers are – in my experience tyres hardly ever re-seal once they’ve been punctured but as usual I ignored past experience, pinned my hopes on a miracle and wasted my only cylinder of C02.

Upside down went the bike, off came the wheel, out came the spare tube and into overdrive went the swearing.

Tick tock….


The screw-on collar thing on the valve wouldn’t turn. Gluing the valve so that you can’t get it off in a hurry is probably one of the things that tyre sealant does do well, which would be fine if I wasn’t trying to get a bloody inner tube fitted to my wheel before any more people rode past.

It did eventually start to turn, but it took a monumental amount of effort to unscrew all the way along the valve’s 45mm length.

It felt like I’d been there for hours. Eventually I was rolling again and had to take a few risks on the way back down the course so that I didn’t miss the cut-off that would deny Sofia starting her final lap (and hopefully pull some time back). Getting across the line with seconds to spare, Sof went off in pursuit of a podium spot. My tyre-related tomfoolery had cost us 16 minutes and we’d dropped down to 4th place….

Sof crossed the line only a couple of minutes behind the 3rd place rider, she’d pulled back a load of time but it wasn’t to be. The curse of the rear tyre just won’t go away….