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Here's a warning to all bike shop mechanics (and anybody who mends punctures): when checking for the cause of a puncture use something other than your finger!

(Don’t) get straight to the point

Tim Johnson of Sideways Cycles in Cheshire has emailed us with a warning about the potential dangers of ‘feeling’ for the cause of a puncture. You always do this gingerly, of course, a shard of glass or a thorn is always going to hurt when found in a hurry but even the slightest of pricks could be lethal if the point you find is from a hypodermic needle discarded by a druggie.

Tim takes up the tale:

"All mechanics and shop owners should be alerted to the possibility, when checking tyres for the cause of a puncture, that the offender may not be the humble Hawthorn or even a nasty piece of sharp glass. A customer recently told me the tale of a colleague of his who drew his hand onto the pointy end of a used hypodermic needle and came away with a nasty infection to boot! Think of a different way to find the hole poker, without using your fingers – and

charge more for puncture repairs!"

TimJohnson5@compuserve.com

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