Well, it had to happen. I finally got a flat tire in one of the rocky paths up in the hills of Valencia. It was somewhere in Gahong, which was not too far to be disastrous but not so near as to be convenient. No damage to the bike or to myself, but my pride is terribly wounded.Wah! The ignominy of having my bike lifted into the tricycle carrying platform!
Fortunately, I was travelling with Jong Fortunato when it happend. We were heading back from Valencia to Dumaguete and we chose a slightly more adventurous road than the highway. I was pedalling hard on an uphill climb and when I stopped, Jong pointed out that I had a flat. After a fruitless search for an air pump among the nearby houses, we decided to walk back to the highway. Jong was gracious enough to accompany me on foot, a good reminder of why travelling companions are necessary on long trips.
That, and a spare inner tube, or at the very least, a patch kit, and a portable hand pump. I shall have to get one of those necessities soon.
In a way, I'm lucky I didn't encounter this flat in either the hills of Siquijor or even in Panglao. That would have been much more inconvenient. Nevertheless, my default course of action -- which was to call a tricycle -- seems to have worked out. That's one of the advantages of travelling in Philippine roads. There are always itinerant tricycles, multicabs, and trucks willing to help out for a reasonable amount.
Along the way, Jong and I talked about the recently concluded Visayas Business Conference, public schools, private schools, and sports. Nothing like some downtime to cement friendships.