I awoke inside my tent in my tiny mosquito filled room and started to pack up. I didn’t even have soles to buy breakfast or even a coffee. I wanted to get to Mancora and to a cash machine as soon as I could. I said goodbye to the English woman and took by bags down the stairs to where I had chained my bike to a tree. The front tire was flat. Of all the luck.
I unpacked my pannier with my tool bag and found inside it I had only a single spare tire. What had happened to the others? I recalled patching a number of tires one day perhaps a year ago. It didn’t matter. I pulled the tire off the rim, removed the punctured tube and repacked the tire with the spare. Then I pumped up the tire. Nothing happened. The spare tire was flat too. Of all the luck.
I sat back down on the stone stair step and, sweat pouring off me now in the sunlight, removed the tire and pulled out the tube. At the bottom of my rear pannier I remembered I had another spare, still in its plastic package, that I had purchased in Argentina. I found it and tore the package open and discovered the tube was particularly wide. It was a BMX tube. I figured it would work and started to pack it into the tire on the rim. But the tire was too small to get around the rim. I’d pack one part and another part on the opposite side would come out. It kept pulling the bead of the tire off the rim. I kept trying but I couldn’t get the thing packed.
Hungry from no breakfast and my head aching from no coffee I became frustrated. I had no spare tire to put on the bike. I was going to have to stay another day in this dump at Punta Sal while my patches fixed on the tires. I would have to do work for the English woman to have something to eat and I would have to stay another night inside my tent in that awful room out back.
Then I got an idea. Perhaps the original flat tire could be re-inflated. I could ride and stop to pump it as I made my way to Mancora. I only needed to travel about 25km. I could push the bike to Mancora if it came to that. I remembered once riding in Argentina an entire day stopping every 5km to pump up a tire. So for the fourth time that morning I changed my tire. Sure enough the puncture on the tire was very small and the air only slowly escaped. It was so slow I was able to ride to Mancora without once re-inflating the tire.