College evening, 7.30pm, moving the bike the quarter mile to the seminar building flat rear, bugger, the emergency tube went in the same rear on Monday, (first youknowhat for five months) and I was leaving the holed one til the weekend, ah well, comfy bench and a lamp thingy to work by. the light's not ideal and it takes a while to find it, the old and well used repair kit doesn't have any crayon and the first patch misses the hole entirely, tsk, the second don't take, chalk I think deep breath, scrub it all clean, use a bigger patch, the solution tube bursts, but the patch is good thank christ, all back in and at the last minute remember to check the inside of the tyre as well as the outside, honking great staple is right through the tyre and sticking through 5mm, tsk all back together, start pumping it back up, dear god, the pump is punctured! one I've had for fifteen years that's pumped up a hundred tyres, hole in the barrel, wasn't there on Monday, pumping up with a thumb on the hole, you might or might not be surprised as to how little pressure you can get into the tyre before the thumb can't stop the air escaping no matter, there's a hundred plus bikes locked up all around, not one has a pump on, arse, hang around in the cold drizzle for three separate riders to turn up, not one has a pump, wtf? but I bite my lip and thank them for their time double arse, more desperate pumping with thumb on hole, the tyre is barely rideable, set off and hope to pass a rider with pump, slow and wobbly it is, a few speed merchant tear past, otherwise it's chavs sans lights let alone pump all the way to the top of Camden Road before a sight from heaven hoves into view, a big fat bloke on a tourer with loaded panniers, he's German and yes, he has a pump, a lovely little modern one, wham bam and the tyre is decent rideable again, many heartfelt thanks to the German and away! hit a honking pothole at speed going down the hill into Nags Head and the ebay pannier that's stayed on for five months flies off, bloody thing's 100 yards behind by the time I've stopped, tsk rolling into Finsbury Park, a lady rider arguing with a driver, stop, listen, go back, he's turned left across her and says it's her fault for riding into him, not being nice about it, I intervene and forcefully (I'm not in an awfully good mood by now remember) point out the rule of the road to him (not that she hasn't already), he gets a lot politer and changes his story to 'sorry, I didn't see you', of course she has three rear lights and the road is well lit, there's seemingly no damage other than a wonky front mudguard which is good because otherwise it's going to be his driving licence etc etc and his lump of a mate is starting to take an interest, she thanks me for stopping and I say no bother at all rolling into the mean streets of Tottenham, surely not? yep, the saddle's shifting, a lot, presumably the same pot hole that ejected the pannier, grrr, stop and adjust, happily the squint in lamplight position is actually a better position that before home, track pump to top the rear to max presh, I could have cried at the ease, faithful old pump into the bin with violence frankly I think I've paid my dues for the immediate future and big thanks to the German tourer wherever he is now Tynan out!