Tuesday I had a flat tire.
Which, strangely, has become unusual... it was only the 5th flat tire of the year.
(I know. You're thinking, "What kind of weirdo counts his flat tires?" ME! Maybe I was a statistician in another life, but I just love keeping track of stuff.)
By comparison, historically I've had upwards of 25 flats in any given year. I've bought patch kits a half-dozen at a time! I've had three flat tires in a day, on a couple occasions. I've "joked" (?) that the only reason I ride a bike is so I could enjoy my hobby - fixing flat tires!
What has changed?
I'm not sure.
I'm using puncture-resistant tires, but that's pretty much standard procedure. I've got a cheap tire, but with a kevlar belt, on the front. And for most of the year I've had a Continental Top Touring tire on the back. It's a tire that's no longer available, and its relative high cost always discouraged me from using it regularly. But maybe not having flats is worth a few extra bucks.
(For the record, four of the '09 flats have been the front tire, and only one on the back - and the one on the back was caused by my own mistake. I overinflated the tire, and it popped off the rim.)
Later in the year I'm planning on buying some upscale Schwalbe tires, using $ that has come available through my employer's new alt-transportation incentive program. (It rewards regular bike commuters with $20 per month for bike-related expenses. Sweeet! $240 per year should keep me in some NICE rubber! And several of you readers have given the Schwalbes the thumbs-up.)
The next 3 months or so are the "goathead-critical" months. The goatheads are coming on strong! And they'll start getting dry and crispy and blowing to and fro. I expect my year-end flat tire total to at least be in the double-digits.