Quick Fix for Sliced Tires

Gravel bike tire with impressive rip in the sidewall

What with wildfires, heat waves and pandemic, cabin fever is getting real. Any minute that the weather looks good, I’m out of the house and riding hard for the hills. Despite cutting it close before work, the mental boost is so worth it!

Then I came skinning down a rocky run-up in Joaquin Miller and heard my back tire go PFFFFFFT.

Disaster! It wasn’t just a pinch flat. My tire was sliced a third of the way around. And I had just 30 minutes before staff meeting at work.

There was no way to make it in time. I texted my colleagues. “Sorry, your irresponsible, dirt shreddy Executive Director is missing morning meeting because I’m walking home.”

After trudging half a block, I realized I’m incredibly bike lazy. I have no patience for walking if there’s any chance that I can ride.

Seasoned bike tourers know the dollar bill trick. When your sidewall starts tearing, stuff in a couple of dollar bills to boot the gap and roll on to the nearest bike shop.

Could I possibly boot this epic slash?

That’s when I noticed the beefy ziploc bag carrying my spare tube. Specifically, an ex-bag of pistachio nutmeats from Trader Joe’s. Hopefully, I folded up the bag  and placed it over the slash. I pumped up the tire and held my breath.

The hack was holding. I gingerly rolled back home (while resisting the urge to hop off curbs).

And still made it to the second half of staff meeting, y’all.

Thanks to Trader Joe’s for making bombproof baggies. Even if you never get a tire slice, it keeps a spare tube from abrasion while bouncing down the trails.

Keep on riding, friends!

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