Cycling 200 Miles on a Flat Tire

Cycling 200 miles on a flat tire might sound crazy, but that’s exactly what I did while riding in Pedal the Plains. Why you ask? Well because I was lazy, and that’s the truth. Changing out a tube is a lot of work, and when a pump is always handy on an organized ride, why bother.

Day one of Pedal the Plains was easy, barley 30 miles and only 75 feet of elevation gain. I know that’s a decent ride for many cyclists, but considering I’ve logged almost 5,000 miles this season, it was just a blip to me. The ride went well, it was a lot of fun actually, a relaxing flat ride. There wan’t much to see, mostly corn.

When we got rolling on day two, I found that my rear tire was flat. It seemed a little strange as I hadn’t notice anything the day before. We were running late and I wasn’t in the mood to change out the tire, so I figured I’d just put a little air into it and hope for the best. I inflated the tire with my hand pump and it held the air. Good enough to ride on, I thought. So I did.

The air held for a wile but the tire started getting soft. Luckily I was on an organized ride and could barrow a pump from a bike mechanic at the aid station. I filled her up and was ready to ride. Day two was 106 mile ride, and I think I had to pump up the tire twice along the way, not to bad.

Day three started and I checked my tire again. This time it wasn’t all that low, but defiantly needed air. For some reason this morning there was only crapy pumps around. It took a little work, but I finally got it inflated. I only had to fill it up once on this ride. It was just under 70 miles, so not bad at all.

In hindsight it wouldn’t have taken me very long to change out the tube. And now I have to do it anyway. But considering the conditions on the ride I think I made a smart choice and saved a tube. Those things aren’t cheap and I’m glad I could get an extra 200 miles out of it.


Growing up in Colorado you can't help but love the outdoors. Something magical happens with 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains in your back yard. My athletic endeavors started on the bike, I would get out and ride whenever I could. In 2011 I moved to Oxford, England for work. I missed the sunshine and mountains, but discovered my passion for running. When I moved back to Colorado I started combining cycling and running, so it was only natural that I started competing in triathlons. I took second place at my first sprint, and caught the bug. Today I'm training for my fourth Ironman.

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