This was supposed to be a camping trip, but tube trouble forced me to turn back.
I thought I was well prepared. I had spare front and back tubes and a patch kit… but it turned out that the “nearly new” rear tube I was using (which had been patched the previous weekend) had some weird flaw in it… which caused a seam to come apart. The previous flat had been on the highway and a pretty rapid deflation. The first flat of the day was on Skutz falls road and was nothing dramatic. On inspection it was clearly leaking from where the last weekends patch was. Patching patches rarely goes well, so I put in the spare tube. It didn’t want to hold air and appeared to have multiple holes in it… but having no other choice I proceeded to try to patch them all. We did have a creek nearby which made it easier to check my work.
That took a long while, but it got the job done… but we were all nervous about the patches holding together, partly because it was pretty warm out. Well, as half expected, that tube went flat shortly past the town of Lake Cowichan (Mesachie Lake). That was another long job… I pulled failed patch off the tube I had started the day on and realized that the long straight tear had gotten longer, to the point where it was at the edge of the patch.
We were working on the edge of someone’s front lawn, and he came out to see if he could help. He ended up donating an old bicycle patch kit with the old style sheets of rubber. I used that to make a big patch over the tear, which seemed to hold air. At this point it made no sense to continue into the bush, so James and Devin headed on and I turned around for home. I tried to keep the speeds down to keep the tire cool, but I did take the highway from Duncan south… and the patch failed in Mill Bay.
By total fluke it was right next to an auto-parts store, which also happened to have a tiny “footnote” on their sign about ATV and motorcycle parts. He had one 18 inch motorcycle tube. I put that in and ran for home (still using that tube I think).
It was a long frustrating day, which got me no-where, and I missed a good tour of some of the caves around Caycuse :(