Nice 200 K bike ride yesterday. All went well, until… THE BRIDGE OF DOOM!
Had done 144 K when I reached the small bridge across the Merwede channel near Nieuwland, just after sunset. Many cars were waiting, bridge was vertical, road closed, men at work in orange coats. I waited for a while. Bridge went down. Bridge went up again.
Was something telling me I had to take another road? Even talked about alternative roads with another biker there. But I was hesitant to venture into the unknown in the dark. Sure this wouldn’t take too long, right?
Then finally the road was free again. I crossed the bridge. All of a sudden my bike felt wobbly. Steering didn’t work properly anymore. I stopped and checked my front wheel. Puncture. Crap! And of course this was the first time in years I had no spare tube or repair kit with me. Dumbass.
What was I to do? Put on some music and start walking. But that soon became rather boring. Also, I was still 68 K from home, that’d take me at least 10 hours.
After walking in total darkness through the middle of nowhere for about 45 minutes I reached a few houses. I picked the one that felt right. A man opened the door. He was a mechanic. He had a workshop behind the house. Had been repairing tires all his life. 20 minutes later I was on the road again. A faster and a wiser man.