I left Bissau at 9am to cover 100 miles and camp close to the Guinea border for an early crossing the following day. I passed through a police check point and my motorcycle suddenly felt very unstable, like it was wobbling. Upon pulling off the road, it was clear the rear had a puncture. Et voila!
It was outside a house, and a passerby gestured for me to me into the shade to fix the puncture. Whilst walking my motorcycle backwards, part of the tyre came away from the rim and started to bunch on itself. Didn't look healthy at all. I detached panniers and the reduced weight stopped the tyre coming off the rim.
Before departing on this around the world journey, I changed inner tubes at home in the UK and practised removing tyre and tube. I'm relieved I did! It came in handy today. I found one hole, which looks like I pinched the tube with the tyre levers or possibly from the tyre coming off the rim. There were two more holes that matched the position of thorns I found in the tyre with the help of the guy who owned the house. His wife also provided a bowl of water for locating the punctures.
A friend I met in Bissau, Alfonso, was riding the same route and stopped to help. Another friend I met in Bissau, Jean-Claude, was cycling the same route (!) and stopped briefly but continued as he had many kilometers to pedal that day.
The first repair patch was leaking in two places from the patch I applied, so I took Alfonso's advice and used my spare tube with the aim of fixing the punctured tube in the evening.
Anyway, I was relieved to be back on the road. Alfonso and I rode for the rest of the day to Contabane in preparation for the next day's crossing into Guinea.
© 2018-2019 Stephen Matthews