I got a flat tire on the Raleigh about two weeks ago, right before our San Fran trip. I can't remember the last time I've had a flat on any of my bikes, so I wasn't too upset about it. Plus, it was nice enough to go flat overnight so I realized it in the morning and could quick switch to another bike (you can't have too many bikes!) rather than being stuck out patching a tube on the side of the road.
So yesterday I pulled the wheel off and took out the old tube. I felt around on the inside of the tire and finally found a teeny tiny sharp something. If my wife is reading this, I will disavow all knowledge of the next sentence. I couldn't get it out with my pliers so I went inside and got a tweezer from the bathroom and pulled out a tiny sliver of metal. It was small and cylindrical, like maybe a piece from a cable? I'm not sure what it was. I was going to take a picture of it, but my daughter wanted to see it and I accidentally dropped it when I was going to show it to her. But wondering what it was is kind of secondary to wondering how it got there.
It was pretty flexible, so I just don't know how it managed to go all the way through the thickest part of my tire. I'm running Ritchey Cross 700x30 tires on this bike, so they're not huge meats or anything, but they've got little knobbies toward the side and this bugger went right through one.
Oh well, it's out, new tube is in and the tire is back on the bike. I even spent some time degunking the rear triangle and drivetrain. This is my foul weather bike, so it tends to collect more than it's fair share of crap on it. You would think the rain would wash some of that away, but no.