OUT: ‘Goathead season’ is here; be prepared

When it comes to riding your bike in the fall, Bryan Miick has some timely advice.

Miick, co-owner of The Bike Shop at 10th St. and North Ave., calls this time of year the “goathead season,” for just cause.

“I’ve had 10 flats in two weeks,” said Miick, ruefully shaking his head. “The worst place is the bike path from the (Las Colonias Park) bridge to the Botanical Garden.”

Miick said he watched the weeds grow along the path all summer and when the city recently put the mower to them, the prickly goatheads were scattered across the bike path.

“I’m not afraid to change a tire when it’s dark and cold, but a lot of people don’t like doing that,” he said in an understatement.

A lot of people don’t like changing tires any time of the year, even more so if they are wearing gloves, so tire and tube manufacturers offer a variety of puncture-resistant products you’ll find at the local bike shops.

One solution is to go to thicker tires, puncture-resistant tubes and a liner between wheel and tube. The small amount of weight these add to the wheel is offset by the insurance afforded against an unexpected dismount.

Also available is a gooey substance that coats the inside of the tube and temporarily heals small punctures.

“Or you could watch where you’re going and avoid those sort of things,” Miick offered. “But when it’s dark, it’s tough to see a goathead in your path.”

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