A MacGyver Ride

Richard Dean Anderson would have been proud of my ride today.  Why?  Today required a MacGyverism (cue the awesome 80’s synth intro) to finish a road ride.  I joined up with Tim of Troupe Racing in Mission Viejo for a road ride that would take us out El Toro and Santiago Canyon Road and back through Irvine.  We were near Irvine Lake, enjoying the 90 degree ride when all of a sudden a big rig’s air brake hissed next to us.  Wait – nope.  It was my rear tire!  Something (probably glass – nothing like throwing your road soda out the window!) had slashed my rear tire and within 5 seconds I had a completely flat tire.

Tim and I pulled over, found some shade and set about assessing the damage.  The good news:  we both had an extra tube and CO2.  The bad news – the sidewall of my narrow 23mm tire was slashed and a new tube would simply bubble out the slash.  It was decision time.

Perfecting the placement of a Powerbar wrapper in MacGyver fashion to finish our ride. Photo courtesy Troupe Racing.

Time to consider the options:

  • Call a friend for a ride?
  • Wait as Tim rides back home and picks me up?
  • Walk out?  No – that was never an option.
  • Try making a boot with either a dollar bill, a GU packet, or a PowerBar wrapper?

We choose the PowerBar wrapper (Peanut Butter, for what it’s worth) and carefully place it on the inside of the tire and put in my spare tube.  Great – the boot is between the slash and the tube so we use the CO2 cannister and air it up.  We’re proud with our perfect MacGyver technique.  Time to turn the bike right-side-up and pedal!

POP!  Uh?  The new tire pops as the tire wasn’t set well enough (oops – so our MacGyver technique isn’t Hollywood worthy just yet) so we’re down to using Tim’s tube and remaining CO2.  We double-check the PowerBar boot and the tire bead seating and air it up using the remaining CO2.  I’m left with a 30 psi rear tire but we’re rolling!  Fast forward to the end of the ride and here is what the tire looked like before I took it off and threw it away.

Right below my thumb you can see the slash and the PowerBar wrapper peaking through. The MacGyver fix worked for another 30+ miles!

The inside of the slashed tire with the PowerBar boot.

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