After work that day, I took it to the garage across the street to have it patched correctly. For some unexplained reason, the old man at the garage across the street put the glue on the tube first, just a thin layer, let it DRY completely, and then applied the patch right side up. Now, I was rolling. I figured one day I would learn to patch my own tires correctly. Maybe. :) But, I never did.
Instead, I learned to carry tubes of CO2 inflator in my saddle bag for emergencies. That works like magic; blows the tire right back up in seconds. I never had a flat on a group ride, but I noticed the pour souls who did were often sidelined for 30 minutes or more in the blazing sun, repairing a tire. Other bikers always stopped to help them. But, I certainly didn't want to have a flat tire headed across the state, no matter how many people were willing to help. Some of my rides were across counties. Others were across state lines. Some were in the city, on country roads, or out in the woods. Some were in the pouring rain, or the glaring sun, and once I returned home pushing my bike covered with snow and ice from a sudden, unexpected snowstorm. I had icicles hanging from my sunglasses, and my black hoodie was solid white.
No, I wouldn't want to have to pump up a tire away from home. Though you run on foot, running shoes are made for traveling on foot. Bike shoes have pedal clips on the bottom and are difficult to walk in. As a cyclist, I took great care in selecting the right equipment for my bike. You never want to be unprepared for the trip. Even something as simple as where you park your car before the ride can mean the difference in a pleasant ride and a death march.
My first group ride had been the Silver Comet from Cedartown, Georgia to Piedmont Alabama. I had parked my car facing east in an open parking lot. I had "hit the wall," "bonked," "spazzed out" at the end of the ride, and walked the last hill to the car. When I got to my car and lifted my bike up onto the rack on the trunk, my stomach began to wretch right there in the parking lot. It was the hot afternoon sun beating down on my back there in the sun as I lifted the bike, the extra exertion, with all my energy depleted, that did me in. I had to lay down in the back seat for 15 minutes before I had the strength to drive home.
Repairs, maintenance, equipment selection, preparation, all of the factors combined decide how you will finish the ride. I always finished the ride. Finishing was not an option. All that was left to work out was how I was going to finish. Was I going to finish with something left; a smile on my face, or was I going to come stumbling in the last 100 yards? That's all that mattered at the end of the day.