So about a year ago my dad got these solid tyres for an old bike which belonged to his dad. They were smaller than the wheels, which we thought was a good thing. What with no air pressure to keep them on, they'd need to be nice and tight so as not to keep slipping around the rim whenever you brake. Using the supplied plastic tyre levers, I helped my dad fit one of the tyres... which snapped the levers. We tried metal levers, but still the tyre was so tight that it bent them. We tried warming the tyres to make them more pliable, but to no effect. We tried putting the tyre on as far as it would go, tying it to the rim at the bottom then clamping it at the top with adjustable pliers and levering it on inch by inch with a screwdriver, clamping it as it went. This resulted in the pliers shooting off into my face and giving me a huge fat lip.

Just like something out of one of my stories, my dad spent several days hammering and welding bits of metal in the back garden just outside the garage, subsequently announcing that this was to be a new tool which would help force the tyre onto the rim.

While I was sitting here fiddling with Visual C++ my dad called from the garden to give him a hand, so out I went, only to be confronted with this "new tool" attached to one of the bike's wheels - a metal bar affixed to the spindle, with a sort of hook over the top of the tyre. The idea was evidently to move the bar around the wheel so that the hook would pull the tyre onto the rim.

The tyre was once again tied to the rim at the bottom of the wheel, then the special tyre-putter-onner was pushed around as far as it would go... which really was nowhere near far enough. We should have given up, but we'd come this far, so my dad got the trusty screwdriver and began levering the tyre on bit by bit while I pushed the tool around to hold it on. It got tougher and tougher, until my arms were aching and my dad's hands had screwdriver-shaped dents in them, and it wasn't budging one bit. He put margarine on the tyre, but still no good. "In all the time I've spent on this I could have repaired twenty punctures," he remarked.

We wavered about giving up, but decided to give it one last-ditch effort. The screwdriver just about levered it up that little bit more, and as I strained to move it around those extra few millimitres, there was a muted "thunk" as the tyre ripped in half. "I think it's gone," I said, helpfully.

We had to admit that they were, after all, too small.