The Northwest Arkansas Roadies rode my favorite mountain route today, down old US 71 south from Fayetteville. Our numbers were off a good bit from previous outings, and we had only 10 on this ride.
Today was the big game between Arkansas and Alabama, so the airport where we park and start was crowded with private and corporate aircraft. The were some low clouds as I was arriving at the airport, and I saw some unfamiliar huge form in the mist from afar.
Turns out, we made the big time today. After the fog/clouds burned off a little, I saw that it was the blimp in for aerial photography of the game.
Four of us decided to continue on over the mountain to Mountainburg, which is about a 65-mile round trip. The weather was cool, and all four of us did well on the ascents.
Things went south about 13 miles from the vehicles on the way back. We heard a quick and short hiss, and I said, "what's that?". About 3 seconds later, I said, "it's me!". I ran over something (don't know what it was), and it put a nice gash in the side of my rear tire.
Fortunately, I carry Park Tool boots in my wedge bag. I put a boot and a tube in the tire, aired it up to 90 psi, and made it back to the vehicles without incident. The tire is toast, but I made it home at a decent pace. One of our group had some GoJo wipes, which got all the chain goo off my hands.
Here is the tire after I repaired it. You can see the gash and a little of the boot showing.
The boots have an adhesive backing and stick to the inside of the tire. There is some paper over the adhesive to protect it until it is used. Just peel it and stick it. Here's a shot of the inside of the tire with boot applied.
As of a stop at O'Reilly Auto Parts after the ride, I have added GoJo wipes to my wedge bag. They work.
If you don't carry a boot in your repair kit, you should IMHO. They're flat, don't weigh much, and don't occupy a lot of space in the bag, This is the second time I've had something slice a tire, and both times, the boot got me home.
There are other materials which can be used for boots, on which others will comment, but I've had good luck with the Park Tool version. They stick to the tire, stay in place, and appear to be strong enough to hold the tire together with enough air in the tube to get home.