My dearest club mates, you may not have noticed me, but I have been amongst you recently dressed incognito in my tweeds to blend in. I have been observing the manners and behaviour of the modern cyclist so that I am up to date on culture and etiquette of the lycra clad generation.
Of course in my day, there was never any need as discuss these things as a gentleman was brought up to know how to act in public, whether on the shooting range, escorting a lady to her favourite hat shop, in the boardroom or when on the recreational bicycle.
I noticed on my foray into modern two wheeled culture that the scouts motto “Be Prepared” seems to have slipped out of common usage, and certainly is not being followed in spirit or kind.
What am I talking about?
Yes, the bane of the modern cyclist. Back when I was leading the peloton, this was not a problem. Solid wheels did not puncture. Of course they were a little uncomfortable especially when you hit those cobbles in Roubaix but we got by without the need for pneumatic cushions. Sadly today, comfort has taken over from practicality and you modern softies feel the need to glide along on a layer of captured air which leads to a problem when that air escapes.
Now for most it is a few minutes, but there are definitely some in the peloton who could do with some puncture practice. I’m not talking about old school puncture repair with glue patches, sand paper, chalk dust and all that palava, what I am talking about is the relatively simple task of changing an inner tube.
Now I know some of you have delicate hands, and the fairer sex are always welcome to stand beside their steeds looking helplessly at the gentlemen in the group who would be, well, less than gentlemen if they did not come to the rescue, but for most of you no excuses, this is a basic skill of life.
I understand that it can be daunting and indeed if you do a googly search on the world wide interweb, one of the first pictures is a little intimidating. Surely you don’t need to have all this to change a simple inner tube? And of course no you don’t. Pedro’s are just trying to sell tools, and presumably help a saddle bag company out at the same time.
So club mates I researched a little and found this:
An average joe fixing a puncture in around 49 seconds -> Average Joe changing a tube
And a look a little deeper found examples from a couple of past tour winners.
Fellow Gentleman Cyclist Greg Lemond gives us the low down here -> Greg changing a tube
And that scoundrel Lance helps us out here -> Lance changing a tube and I want you all to particularly take note of what lance says at 1 minute 7 seconds 😉
So next time you are out on a ride, you know what you need to do, and you all know you should be carrying a spare tube, levers, pump right.
Just before I leave you to go and practice your tube changing technique, one final word. I know you all believe that cycling is all about legs and so don’t like to exercise your arms so if you have decided that pumping is just too much work for your wasting upper bodies and have invested in carbon dioxide (that’s CO2 to you) cartridges, then for goodness sake learn how to use them. There is nothing marks you out as an amateur more than a large puff of icy gas as you waste $4 of CO2 and ask your mates if you can borrow a pump.
To help you there, there is this -> How to use CO2
Good luck out there, and happy pumping gentlemen.