Drivel - Puncture fairy breeds
Types of fairy
- Overnight visitor. Shy. Sneaky. Never to be seen. Sometimes strikes during the day, but only when the bike is unaccompanied and out of human sight. This was when one visited me
- The confident cousin of the overnight visitor. Strikes during the daytime, sometimes within earshot; the sprite is not heard but the pssssssst of their leaving is. Usual target is a bike that has just been returned from a ride and is waiting to be put away, or a bike that has just been checked and undergone its regular maintenance checks.
- The children of the confident cousin. These have the same targets, but prefer to let the tyre explode noisily irrespective of who is in earshot. They always seem to escape undetected. I don’t know what their weapon is but it always leaves a star shaped hole!
- Slasher. This annoying pest strikes whilst you are on the move. You will get a cut across your tyre and inner tube, but the weapon of choice is never to be found; either embedded in the damage or on the ground. It is still not known whether this critter strikes from the air or lies in wait to throw its weapon across your path.
- Pairs. This friendly couple are rumoured to have grown up in the financial market and are attracted to those cyclists with lower inflation rates. They strike in pairs, one from each side, and are skilled enough to perforate your tube with no visible evidence left on the tyre. The less skilled children are brutal enough to leave dents and damage to your wheel rims. Fortunately these are the easiest of the clan to discourage, just pump your tyres up hard and avoid the potholes that they live in.
- Litter lout. These are the friends of builders. They live on building sites and builders vehicles, gathering and then scattering screws or nails, throwing them across the cyclists path. When they run out of ammunition they are known to take their frustration out on vehicles, breaking headlamps, mirrors, even windows just to get more sharp litter. They are so indiscriminate in their attacks that sometimes they target cars and other vehicles. Unfortunately these are also the drinkers of the breed, as you can witness from the broken bottles lying in the gutters. I don’t know whether they turn to drink after running out of nails and before they attack vehicles for mirror glass, or whether they turn to drink after their vandalism. Again, if you are willing to fund research into this topic please email me.
- The geologist. These studious sprites are found more commonly in the countryside, although they are not scared of the town. They gather, split and then discard stones and gravel. The sharp remnants, carefully discarded, have been known to halt many a cyclist’s ride.
- The hyperactive nuisance. In a hurry? Rushing? Then you are already attracting this imp. They are attracted to a cyclist in a hurry. Whether you are running around at home like a blue arsed fly, running late and desperate to get on the road or whether you are already on the road and putting in an effort to make up time; this imp will strike at its leisure. It loves to deflate a tyre then wait and watch whilst the cyclist rushes out then has to decide whether they have time to mend the damage or take alternative transport. It is also fast enough to chase and strike a moving target, then loves the frustration on the cyclists face as they realise they were late and are about to get later!
- Double strike. This critter can detect a cyclist who is relying on carrying just one spare tube and no more. It loves to poke its fingernails into the tyre that has been removed and checked, then watch the ensuing second puncture on re-inflation. It also loves to work with its cousin the hyperactive nuisance, striking the late cyclist in a rush a few miles after their last problem.
- Linguistically attracted scholar. This fairy can hear the utterance or even the thought of the P word well over a mile away. As soon as the word has been uttered this controller of the fairy world comes to examine the situation, then summons the best equipped fairy to come to wreak havoc. This is the worst of the lot and must be avoided at all costs. I am putting my cycling enjoyment on the line in order to bring you this public service broadcast.
- Disorganised. This fairy is attracted to the cyclist who has foolishly left home without their fairy repellent kit (ask in a bike shop for a pun*ture repair kit, spare patches, spare tube and a pump).
- Easy Going Boss. Steve T from anothercyclingforum.com reported this one. He says She rarely disciplines her minions but, if she suspects that they are taking her laissez faire attitude for granted, she does occasionally find it necessary to remind them who’s in charge and just how much power she has. A copy of the full story is here
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