Bushfires are raging across Victoria and the forecast for the weekend is two days of high thirty temperatures and strong winds. Woke this morning to stiffling heat, thick smoke filling the air and a dull orange sun shining down. Visibility is down to a couple of kilometres and there’s no incentive to go outside and do anything at all. This is in the city, 150km from the fires, it must be terrible out there fighting them.

The one thing I did was try to fix a few too many punctures in too many inner tubes. Last night on the way home I felt the back tire go down a suburb from home — a toss up whether to change the tube or catch the train, since I was almost at Murrumbeena station. I chose to swap the tube, then watched in frustration as my spare that I’ve been carrying around for the last few months went down as fast as I pumped up. Of course the train went past while I did this, at a frustrating distance of “if I’d not tried to change tubes I could have caught that…”

This morning I patched the first of the tubes, one down, then out to the bike to get the other one back off the wheel. While I was there I saw that the mountain bike had a flat front tyre as well! It certainly hadn’t when I put it away a couple of weeks ago. Later in the day I put a patched tube back into the road bike wheel and watched half an hour later as it went down again — another pin hole in a different place in the tube! Another tube swap and another tyre pumped up. The mountain bike tube didn’t seem to have a leak anywhere in it, so I just shrugged and fiddled with the valve, pumped it up and hoped I don’t have to do this too often.

Gradually creeping up to 28 °C inside, the thermometer sensor hanging out the lounge room window says its 44.9 °C outside on the western side of the house! Back to the couch to sit and read and drink cold drinks.