Steel-belted tires a source for flats

Steel-belt wire, a sure way to get a tire flat.

Steel-belt wire, a sure way to get a tire flat.


Third in line after glass and puncture vine, I claim wire from steel-belted tires to be a source for bike tire flats. I had one of those a few weeks ago and it’s a hassle to remove the tiny wire. I had to add a boot and extract it at home.

I used to think the wires came from street sweepers, but someone told me it was car tires. It’s hard to believe, but I told myself I’d stop and take a photo if I came across a tire shred. Sure enough on Saturday I found some on Summit Road just south of Gist Road. How it got there is a mystery. Maybe it fell off a truck carrying junk.

I checked out those little-ridden roads nearby, Schulties, Redwood Lodge, Morrill Cutoff to see if they survived the winter; they did, with a couple of minor mudslides and downed trees, since cleared.

Finally, Sempervirens Fund celebrated its 116th anniversary Saturday at the new parking lot for Castle Rock State Park. I was passed by a phalanx of cars heading up Hwy 9. I figured some event must be underway because traffic was far worse than normal.

When I mentioned this to a woman at the parking lot entrance she claimed it was just weekend traffic. We should all be thankful that so few people recreate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Even a minor increase in traffic triggered by a special event overloads mountain roads.

2 Responses to “Steel-belted tires a source for flats”

  1. Jim Denton Says:

    Those tiny strands of steel from tires have given me flats as well. They’re hard to find so I carry powerful reading glasses when I ride. I read a tip in a bike mag that suggested carrying a cotton ball to run on the inside of the tire to locate those tiny buggers.

  2. tfunk408 Says:

    All those little back roads that used to feel eerily remote are now packed with cars (at least on the weekends). Guess this is the new normal.

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