Awakening the Flat Tire Gods

Has anyone ever warned you about awakening the bicycle flat tire Gods?  Heed their advice, because I just found out that this is for real.

Awaken the flat tire GodsYeah, you’ve more than likely had a situation where you’re talking about how long it’s been since you had a flat tire….and then been immediately warned not to bring up such a subject.  It’s been said that mentioning such words will awaken the flat tire Gods and curse you with a fury of flats on your bike.

I was first exposed to this whole thing when I wrote a post called “The Longest Lasting Tube Ever“.  In it I explained that I had gone for a very long time without getting a flat tire…and that’s when all the warnings came.  I’m a bit superstitious so I honestly was a little freaked out, and for several rides after I was constantly worried about getting another flat.

Lucky for me, they didn’t come… time went by and the whole flat tire God thing wasn’t given much attention.  Until Now.

A few weeks ago I rented one of our mountain bikes from Mocha Spoke.  Two days later, the customer had a flat tire while riding on the main streets.  When this happened I told my Wife how surprised I was that he got a flat on a mountain bike tire while riding the same roads I do with my road bike….and that I’ve only had one flat in two months.

I had said too much.  I had definitely Awoken the Gods this time.

In the 5 days following me speaking these words, I experienced 7 flat tires between two of my bikes.  Yes, the Gods were angry.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was in flat tire hell and didn’t know how I was ever going to get out of it.

I told them I was sorry and that I’ve learned my lesson, but I’m a little scared to say if this actually worked or not. I don’t want to disturb them again.  So let’s leave it at this….my advice to you.

It appears that writing about your lack of flat tires may be okay, but please do not ever speak about it in private or public.  You’ve been warned.

Your turn….tell us about your experiences with the Flat Tire Gods and any words of advice you have for our readers.

  • Alisha Smith

    Really Great blog on Bike Service Zone. Looking forword more update.

  • Vsx1

    In the less than 3 years and over 3000 miles that I’ve had my bike, I’ve gone through 19 tubes (I don’t fix tubes) and 5 tires! I am stunned at the number of flats I’ve had. Having said that, SLIME is an awesome product. It has probably saved me dozens of tubes and a couple tires! It adds weight but it’s worth not having to walk your bike 15+ miles home. Slime will be used on my bike later this year once weather warms up and I can get it outside

  • Bob Burpee

    I have also felt the wrath of the tire gods. In the spring of 2011 I mentioned to someone on a group ride that I had gone nearly two and a half years without a flat. Within four months I had eight flats including three on one ride. I guess I was sufficiently humbled (or deciding to carry at least two spare tubes and a patch kit on every ride) to appease the gods. Now when someone mentions flats I merely reply that it’s something we all go through and to view it as a lesson in patience.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for sharing your story, Bob. Looks like you know how to deal with this issue now.

  • Eric Hutchins

    And as far as advice, I am sure you have heard this one….. but maybe for a few of your readers, I always have a dollar bill in my saddle bag. If you get a tear/glass cut in your tire, fold up the bill a couple times and line the inside of the tire with it before you put the new tube in and inflate. It will keep the new tube from rupturing through the tear when you inflate and it will get you home (if the tear is not too bad).

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Very good idea, Eric. All we have over here is one dollar coins, but I should start carrying around and EC$5 bill for this type of thing. I’ve also heard that stuffing a leaf in there could work as well. Lots of those around here.

  • Eric Hutchins

    And I thought that I was the only one that was superstitious about flats. So strange how you can go forever without one, and then you go through a period where you cant get through a ride without a flat. I have thrown away perfectly good tires that I have inspected super carefully and could not find a flaw but………..

  • Matt Doyle

    Thanks for the smile Darryl,

    It is Thursday, Jan 31st and the timing of your post was perfect. Last night I did my usual Orlando International Airport night ride and sure enough – two seperate rear wheel flats caused by glass. It had been months since I had an issue, but nothing like hearing the air escape at 31mph knowing you need to get out if the pack as you are scrubbing speed.

    There is something to the theory but in the grand scheme of things – “no worries” and keep pedaling through life.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great attitude and advice, Matt.

  • Paul Kirby

    I always ride prepared – mini-pump, CO2 inflator, patch kit. I figure preparedness helps keep the flat boogyman away. It’s worked so far. Probably not anymore now that I’ve given voice to it. Bummer…

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hahahaha, I hope they weren’t listening. Thanks, Paul.

  • BikeView.CA

    I did that after a long road bike ride, 4500Km this year without a flat! The next day I got a flat 20Km into my ride to work, and the brand new spare I had on my bike was faulty so was stranded with 3 empty CO2 cartridges and the anger of the flat tire deities laughing over me

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, that sucks…..hope they’re on your side now.

  • cwsl

    never have a flat before since the first day i got my road bike 5000+ kms and still counting, there was once a flat though at home where then i checked, tube and tyre was ok. Weird huh ?

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      You’re a lucky cyclist. Hope you go for at least another 5,000kms before you get one.

  • Tim Starry

    I used to rant about flats. I used to think they were the retribution from a mean and vengeful god.

    Now I accept them as the gift of chaos that they are. They are one of god’s little jokes that tests whether we’re ready to laugh along with her.

    I’m getting really good at changing tubes and patching flats.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Now that is a great attitude towards a frustrating subject like this one. Thanks Tim…..I’m going to keep your comments in mind for the next time it happens.