When I first started cycling in London I got an incredible number of punctures, probably around 2 a month.
When I had bought my bike I had asked the shop if it was possible to buy one with stronger tyres fitted, but they said they could only deliver it with the tyres it came with, which were of pretty poor quality. It did mean that I got very proficient at changing the inner tube, and ended up being able to do it really fast.
But on one occasion I got 2 punctures on my way in to work, the second one in the new inner tube I had just put on (different objects caused them - I found both of them); really unlucky I guess, but it meant that I had to go searching for a bike shop to buy another inner tube as I only carry one spare with me.
The best thing I can advise for this is to get reinforced tyres. Since acquiring my own about 1½ years ago I have had just one puncture. That said, when you do get a puncture with reinforced tyres, they are really difficult to get off and on the wheel rim (more difficult to get on). In fact it was so difficult I bought a tool to help me the next time; the only thing is there hasn't been a "next time" yet, so I don't know if my tool will do the trick!
For passers-by who wish to help (which is a really kind offer!) I'd suggest:
- After dark, offering to hold the front bike light to shine some light on where you're working.
- Wet wipes, as someone mentioned above would be really helpful if you happened to have any, but even a clean tissue would be nice.
- Does anyone walk around carrying surgical gloves? This would be another way to keep your hands clean. I try to keep some in my pannier, but they always sink to the bottom and I can't find them when I need them.
- An extra pair of hands to get the tyre back on the rim could be very helpful.
- Local knowledge of where the nearest bike shop is, if needed.
I'm really impressed that you offered to help, Fatma. Although I have extensive experience of changin inner tubes on the roadside, no-one has ever offered me help - not that I've ever asked.