Abs and I ride off to Tesco. On the way I notice the rear tyre of the scooter feels a bit soft.
The roads on the island are fare considering it’s location. The roads are all concrete, and sometimes dirt.
Scooters tend to ride on the small hard shoulder, so that the bullish taxis and other big vehicles can drive by.
Once we have left Tesco I check the tyre, it is now completely flat. Not worrying too much, I push the bike to the front of the store, head towards what looks like a tyre repair place, and the taxi drivers instruct me to the to a tyre repair place.
Within a few minutes the young lad has replaced the inner tube with a new one. It cost 150 Baht. I’m guessing we have paid above the odds, but it is late at night, and we are Farang, so we are in no position to dispute this.
Riding home, about 1km from our house, the front wheel makes a sudden flapping noise. I fear we have something stuck in our front tyre. I stop and check, and yep, we have something stuck in.
I know that pulling it out will let it down, so I leave it in and ride home. Once parked I pull out the offending item and air rushes out, as the tyre deflates.
Now I know to repair it in the morning, rather than waiting for a suspected slow puncture.
In the morning I ride the bike to the repair shop, as the tyre keeps it form.
I wait in line, and at my turn this guy removes the tyre, without removing the wheel. He finds the hole and asks it I want to replace or fit. I say fix.
I notice that the lady 2 in front of me in the queue paid 120 Baht for her new inner tube, so the 150 I paid last night was reasonable. I also know what the going rate is now.
The guy uses a hacksaw to roughen the puncture spot, clamps a repair patch to the puncture stop and lights the pad attached to it. The pad roars with smoke and the patch fuses itself to the tube.
He re-inflates and charges me just 40 Baht (70 pence). Happy, I thank him and ride home.
We have ridden many miles over many hours in Southeast Asia, and yet get our first 2 punctures in 20 minutes.
I suspect we wont have another puncture for sometime, especially as I now ride less in the dirty part of the road, but I also suspect we will have another puncture at some point.