After nearly 25,000 miles of riding in the last few years, I have convinced myself that I'm not a noob. Well at least that was till today. About 5 miles into my back country ride on my mountain bike I felt the front tire going down. That wasn't the greatest news since it was 30 degrees (F) outside.
Regardless, i've done the drill many times before so I quickly disassembled the front tire and patched the tube. I used the last of my glue for the patches and tossed it aside. (yes i littered) Soon I was off and riding again. About 1/4 mile later, it dawned on me that I had forgotten to check the tire for debris. (Major rookie mistake!) Oh well, i thought. Surely there is nothing in there.
About 20 seconds later the front end is beginning to bounce. Crap, she's goin down. Oh well, i thought. I've still got the back up tube and one more CO2 cylinder. So i dismantled the tire again and reinstalled the new tube, and connected the inflator. Whooooooooosh! All of the air left the Co2 cannister but the tire did NOT inflate. Crap!
After taking everything apart again, i noticed that the tube had a bunch of cuts on the inside edge where it had been folded and riding in my pack all winter. So now, i'm without a tube, without patches and without c02.
I was about 7 miles from home and decided i would try and slow the leak as much as possible by just sticking a patch minus the glue, over the hole. It had minimal effect, but i was able to pump and ride the rest of the way in with my trusty frame pump. I had to stop and pump 4 times to make it 7 miles. Not fun but better than walking.
Moral of the story: There are many but mainly make sure you have as many layers of defense as possible. And the next time somebody asks if they should carry Co2, frame pump, or whether to patch or replace the tube, just say YES.