1985: BMX flat tire & MacGyver

Flat tire

Like some kids growing up in Malaysia, I could ride a bicycle. In fact, I loved riding bicycles so much that I would spend many afternoons and weekends riding between friends’ houses, roaming the neighborhood, and exploring.

As a teenager, I lived in a suburb called SS15 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. In my days, cars were lesser, and mega highways weren’t built yet. The only highway that I knew of back then was the Federal Highway that spanned the city of Kuala Lumpur to Subang Jaya, where I lived.

It was a fine, hot and dusty afternoon when I encountered a flat tire. I was riding home from my good friend, Alfred’s house when I struck a flat alongst an area littered with construction and new homes being built. I was riding a single gear 20” BMX, and for some of you who have seen or ridden in one, you know that it’s a looooonnnnnnnnggggggg ride between Taman Megah (where my friend Alfred lived) and Subang Jaya (where I lived). It was probably about 10kms or so. With the blazing Malaysian sun, you get toasted and tired. A flat was not helpful at all when you still have to ride about another 9 kms! So. how did I get home that day?

There was a cool TV show called MacGyver when I was growing up. This guy was the Mr. Cool & Mr. Fixit all. He was able to get things fixed up by using scraps and bits and pieces all around him! I thought of being MacGyver when I got that flat. I thought to myself that the only way to get home was NOT to push the bike, but to get the puncture fixed. This meant I had to get something sticky to cover the puncture, and then get some air into the rear tire. I needed some Macgyver like ingenuity! With the hole patched and the tire pumped up, the last thing to do was to pedal like mad, and prayerfully make it home without any air leaking out.


Well, I really have to thank God for giving me some ‘help’ & creativity. So, here I was standing and scratching my head on the side of the road. Lo and behold, I saw a disused black electrical tape, probably no more than 1 or 2 inches long. This meant I could use that to cover the puncture in the inner tube!

And for whatever reason, I have to thank God that my puncture happened ‘only’ about half a km after a petrol station. This meant that I could get the electrical tape patched between the punctured tube and tire, pump the tire up real hard, and pray that the force between the tube and the punctured tire could keep the electrical tape covering the hole! Get it?

To cut the long story short, I did manage to patch the puncture with that bit of electrical tape I found by the side of the road. I did get to pump up the tire real hard at the petrol station (at the risk of bursting the tire again with too much pressure). And pedal like mad did I do to get home !!

In summary, I was able to get home totally ‘punctured’ (no pun intended), and puffed out. I had never pedaled so fast in my life for a massive distance of 9km straight! I got home with the (hold your breadth) tire completely still hard with all the air pressure! I took a shower, and was amazed to find out that the tire totally deflated after I went back to check it again. Wow! Thank God for keeping my tires completely pumped up to get home.

A Flat Tire + MacGyver like ideas + God providing ‘supplies’ + you pedaling = “I Know God is and was Always in Control”


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