Today was another first for me. When we headed off this morning I commented to Allister that I had a vibration in the rear of my bike. I checked out all of the obvious causes and nothing seemed to be broken. We started heading inland on our way to Sun Moon Lake. As soon as you leave to coast you have to go uphill. There is a massive mountain range in the centre of the Taiwan. We climbed 235 meters and then had a nice downhill. During the downhill I notice that the vibration had got worse and I started thinking maybe it is my tire failing. My next thought was “no couldn’t be, Schwalbe, Marathon Plus should last 10000 km. We have only done ~3500km”. We reached the bottom of the downhill and I had slowed right down following Allister, while he looked at his map for directions. The next thing I knew, there was an almighty bang and the bike ground to a holt very quickly. My back tube had blown. First flat tire of the trip and I am so glad it didn’t happen while I was doing 40 km/hr.
An older lady walking along the side of the road came over to me and pointed to the shop directly behind me on my right. It was a motorbike repair shop, perfect.
I got the back wheel off and took it to the shop. The owner very quickly found the problem. The side wall of my tire had delaminated and the tube had ruptured out. Bugger, I should have known that was the problem.
Luckily he had a 20 inch tire on hand but it was only rated to 40 psi. I bought it knowing that we would find a bike store further down the road. We did and I was able to get a tire that was rated to 60 psi. We hit the road again and cycled through some beautiful rice paddies.