March 3rd - This is what happens when you ignore your gut feelings. This clumsy photo is my gloved had, turning a bike tyre inside out to show a hawthorn spine pushed right through it. Miraculously, it hadn’t yet caused a flat. I was very lucky.
I’ve been fettling the bike a lot lately, and fitted new tyres I bought last year. I thought them to be my favourite tyre - Schwalbe Marathon Plus. They are tough as old boots, and very resistant to thorns and other nasties. When I unwrapped the tyres, they were just normal Marathons - a lighter weight tyre without the tough protection. Not wanting to waste the purchase, I fitted the skinnier tyres. I rode them for a week, thinking they were OK.
Yesterday, I had two rear-wheel punctures on the canal towpath near Hopwas, both caused by Hawthorn, the curse of towpath cycling. As I came home, I developed a third slow puncture, and resolved to change back to a pair of Marathon Plus tyres when I could next day.
As I came to do the swap tonight, I found the front tyre - which had been OK - had a 7mm thorn through, waiting to pop the inner tube.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus are excellent. Marathons are a good tyre, but they’re just not up to towpath use, as I knew when I fitted them. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your instincts.