this week-end I had to patch my bike's rear tube (which means taking out the rear wheel, which means disconnecting brake and gear shift cable, and also cleaning it, before putting it back on, which is summed up a lot of work, taking long because I don't do it often).
cause for the trouble was that a tube patch which I had applied about one year earlier was breaking down. I think the patch was a gift in some cycling promotion event. it was a self-sticking one consisting of a thin transparent foil. bad stuff. in the ten years before, none of my regular patches ever broke down. so I just put on a classical patch and I am sure it will live longer than the tube will.
so here's the lesson that I want to share today: Don't use those thin self-sticking patches. Except if you want to change the tube soon anyway.
By the way, I found that my rear tire has lost almost all his tread ([de] Profil) and it also has a lot of little holes (although none punched through it seems). Maybe this is in part because I used to keep it on little pressure often times. maybe winter salt also played a rôle. But the front tire still seems ok (at least for the thread), so I ordered one new tire and will fit it after winter is over. together with the spring cleaning. yes! :-)
PS: I just found out, where I got that bad patch from. It came with my otherwise fabulous bike toolkit from Park Tool. There was another patch in the kit and I just threw it away so that this would not happen to me again. Ha!