I obviously angered the mechanical transport gods (or somebody) with my last post as when I went to collect my bike from the secure area last night, I found the D-lock pushed up against the valve - and the moment I moved it, the air was filled with the anxiety-inducing hiss of air escaping. Fast. Arrrgh!
Almost immediately, the tube was completely deflated, rendering the bike as useless as an ashtray on a water ski. Not 10 minutes earlier, I had convinced my hairdresser to squeeze me in before her last appointment of the day, but that was back when I had a functioning means of transport. I stalked back in to the office, mad as hell; had a rant at the gormless security guard about the overcrowdedness of the secure area (which I was convinced had been the cause of the flat); and called to cancel my appointment. Through gritted teeth. Had a little internal monologue to myself re: the rare but extreme annoyance factor of a flat tyre vs. the common but mild annoyance of waiting more than 10 mintues for the bus.
Luckily I managed to wangle my way into an on-the-spot tube replacement at my local Evans Cycles, courtesy of the charmingly bike-mad Gabriel. He managed to change it in about 60 seconds flat, and he (rather stupidly, I thought) agreed to show me how it's done.
Me: How big is that spanner?
Me: Can't you just use a teaspoon to lever the tyre off?
Him: Possibly, never tried it.
Me: Am I going to break a nail getting it back on?
Me: Wow, that's dirty work.
Poor Gabriel. But in the end, I was cycling down the Cut only minutes later, elated to be back in the saddle so quickly. I ended up pelting it all the way back, to arrive at the salon out of breath and more than a little sweaty - but miraculously, only 5 minutes late. Luckily the serene and lovely Kimmy just smiled, sat me down and pretended not to notice the sheen of sweat under my fringe.