The Beginner’s Guide to Preparation For and Rescuing Yourself From The Bush when ‘Puncture Struck’
A Failure To Plan Is A Plan To Fail
Motorcycles are an incredible tool for exploration. Their light weight and single track makes them much easier to get through the more awkward parts of a ride – try getting a land cruiser up the stairs in your mother’s house. Because of the lack of weight they’ll burn less fuel and, rather wonderfully, there is a very clear limit as to how much extra baggage you can carry on one. Having this limit is a lot more of a blessing than it is of a curse, but what it does do is prompt a bit of planning.
Prepping to ride should always have a wonderful sense of anticipation to it. After all, you’re getting ready to have a whole load of fun! The trick is to keep it that way. Dress appropriately. If you’re going for a game of five a side, wear trainers. If you’re
going out to ride a bike, wear bike boots. Losing footing in such a small way that your foot slips off the peg and you don’t even drop the bike can result in a nasty ankle injury or similar. Also, try dropping a bike on your foot and that lightweight concept just doesn’t seem so light any more…
Know the bike and what it needs. Pack a tool kit. Better still, pack two – one for you and one for the machine. Bring easy to carry food such as bananas, energy bars and apples. Always carry water – we always suggest a camel back. If you need to carry extra fuel for the bike, then carry extra water for you. Fruit is always good as it’s a great source of energy and there isn’t a wrapper to soil the beautiful environment that you’re riding through.
Knowing your bike and talking to those who ride the same or a similar model will help you identify the tools you may need. Bringing power tools with you isn’t going to work if there is nowhere to plug them in. Equally, bringing a box full of stuff that you’ve never used and are unlikely to use is a waste of effort. Do you really need all those spanners, or just the 10mm and 12mm ones? Packing them is also going to be a concern. Having a small luggage roll that fits inside a bum bag is going to be much easier to carry than some sort of plastic box that needs to be strapped on to the bike.
Punctures happen for a whole host of reasons. Starting a ride without the correct tyre pressure may result in a flat. Not reducing the pressure when you need a bigger footprint in the soft stuff will reduce traction. Most shops sell basic puncture repair kits that contain little canisters of compressed air. Take a few as part of your tool kit, along with the bits you need to take the tyre(s) off.
Using a mousse or something likeTubliss can be a lifesaver. If you’re having a really bad day, you will still have the kit to get home.
If all else fails, an old-fashioned but workable way to get going again is to break the seal between the tyre and the rim with the tools you’ve brought along, then take your t-shirt, socks, bandanna, and any other soft clothing you have, wet them with the water you’ve brought with you, and stuff them into the tyre.
Reattaching the tyre to the rim is going to be painful. Reduce the pain by taking your apple and doing the following: Eat half of it, and place the other half with the rim. Press firmly and run the one of your recommended five a day all the way around the wheel. Not only is eating the half an apple good for you, the juice will act as a lube and let the tyre simply fall back onto the rim before rapidly drying. Ok, while this does work, getting the tyre to simply ‘fall back onto the rim’ can be a bit tricky, but it’s doable. The wet clothing will replicate air pressure, but unlike air, won’t leak out of a hole in the tyre.
It is important to keep speed to a minimum, as this is probably the most temporary of temporary solutions. It is only a means by which to get you to the nearest place where you can get the tyre properly fixed. Wet clothes do not create enough pressure to seal a tyre to its rim and if the tyre pops back off it you’re out of luck, as you’ve probably run out of apples. And, indeed, underwear.
Can’t wait to get out there and take to the trails? Download our free pre-ride POWDER checklist, so you can make sure your bike is as ready as you are!
To find out more about raceway motorcycles and services please contact us directly on 03) 9351 0055