Tag Archives: RTI

The Gentleman Cyclist – Punctures

Gentleman Cyclist 2My 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?


Gentleman Cyclist 8Yes, 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.

 pedrosI 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.

innppz41Just 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.



The Gentleman Cyclist – Numpties

Gentleman Cyclist

It has been a while since we heard from The Gentleman Cyclist.  He has been beavering away in his workshop, having heard that cyclists today seem to like changing gear from the handle bars rather than reaching down to the lever on their down tube.  TGC has been trying to find a cable long enough to allow him to try this out, and succeeded by stripping a cable from the Austin Healey in his garage..  The result was quite a revelation and he feels the trend may catch on.  Enough of this, we need to interrupt his invention tests as we received an important question in a letter early last week and TGC has been itching to offer his opinion.

Dear TGC
I recently joined a cycling club and one of the day idea sounds attractive as it will be fast like me but it has been billed as a “no-numpties” ride.

I’m not familiar with this term but since you are knowledgable on all cycling etiquette matters I thought you might be able to shed some light on this and advise if this is a ride I should be doing.

Numpty Dumpty

Dear Numpty

Thank you for your letter.  I was intrigued when I read it as it was not a term that we hear much down here in Oxfordshire.  It is almost certainly not a term that should be used in polite company and I wondered if perhaps your friend from the cycling club is from North of the Border.  Glasgow perhaps or Aberdeen.  Is he large, bearded, ginger haired, smells perennially of whiskey and wears one of those skirts that the Scots insist on calling a kilt?

The starting place for all definitions is, of course, that momentous tome of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary.  The OED defines the word as follows:

Numpty: A stupid or ineffectual person.

If we start to break this down for cycling purposes, then stupid might refer to not knowing how to ride a bicycle properly, or perhaps more likely, not knowing how to ride safely in a group.  Equally possibly he is trying to highlight that  or being unaware of the protocols of riding in his group could, perhaps bring an element of danger to a fast and furious ride.  Ineffectual on the other hand is probably assessing an element of how much work an individual is willing to do to support the group, and namely, no wheelsuckery.  This therefore would seem to imply that if you are either brand new to riding with the club or you have the intention to sit on the back (cough! triathlon style) and let the others work for you, then this is probably not your ride.

On a lighter note, and entering into the spirit of our colonised neighbours, I think it important in my answer to give some guidance on the proper usage of the term as just throwing it into any sentence just won’t do.  For this guidance, there is no better place to look than the esteemed Urban Dictionary.  I know you are probably asking yourself what a Gentleman such as myself would be doing even with knowledge of such a base publication, but when one cycles to the remoter parts of  High Wycombe then, if one is to be able to communicate, then one, as the saying goes, needs to be “down with the kids”

Urban Dictionary defined Numpty as follows:
“Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.”

or to be blunt

“Numpty first surfaced on the terraces of west of Scotland football grounds, many many years ago. A player who couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a shovel would be a f***ing numpty.”

In terms of using the phrase, it is important to put on a broad Scottish accent when you use it to get the full effect and some examples you might use are:

“Awww Jimmy ya numpty!! You couldnae score wi’ ma’ sister!”
“they numpties couldnae organise a pissup in a brewery.”
“Nay! That wisnae wit she meant, ya greet numpty!”

To bring this home, you might consider the following at your next club ride:

“Did ya see that greet numpty fall over at the lights, he couldnae unclip from his pedals”
“Would that numpty on the front pedal when he’s going downhill the rest of the group is up ‘is arse”
“What’s that numpty doing ten meters off the front?  Couldnae he look over his shoulder and see he’s riding faster than the rest o us”
“Ya couldnae sprint for a bus ya greet numpty, just sit on me wheel and I’ll show you how its done”

These are, of course, just guidelines to get you started, and I look forward to hearing the inventiveness of the crowd in tomorrow’s ride.

In the immortal words of that peoples cyclist Mao Zedong
“Let a hundred flowers blossom ya greet numpties!”


The Gentleman Cyclist – Winning

Gentleman Cyclist

Still trying to get through his backlog of post, TGC has been beavering away. His butler takes him a couple of letters at breakfast with his liver, eggs and kippers, and if he likes what he reads he pens a quick reply. Of course if he doesn’t like what he sees, then your letter is just fuel for the drawing room fire.

Here is one that seems to have made the cut…

Dear TGC
A friend of mine shared with me your reply regarding trivia quizzes. I was particularly heartened by your assertion that winning is everything since as I like to say to my wife and friends at all possible opportunities “I am a cyclist”.  They often respond “You mean you ride your bike a bit?” To which I have to reassert myself “No! I am a cyclist”.

By this clearly I want them to understand that I cycle to demonstrate my superiority over other mere bike riders and that in doing this, every ride is a challenge, a competition, every bike rider a target to be caught and passed.

What I wanted to ask your sagely advice on is the right form of celebration when winning a club sprint, a local bike race, or clearly as this is coming up very soon, when I dominate the club Quiz Night.

Yours in anticipated glory
The Cyclist

Dear Cyclist
I admire your competative spirit! Anybody who says that it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that matters has clearly either lost so many competitions that he has forgotten that the whole point is to try to win or they were brought up under the British Education system of the 1990’s and somehow think that coming last at British Bulldogs while being dumped on your head doesn’t in some way encourage you to try harder next time.

You are a kindred spirit, a brother in arms, you can be wingman to my Top Gun any time, but…

A gentleman never reveals the pleasure of the win.

While you must of course win, you must accept the victory with grace as though it was at all times a foregone conclusion. Not for the gentleman the pumping of the arms with a hearty “Boo Ya!”. Learn your lessons from Mark Cavendish when he thanks his team for their work in propelling him over the line with a “The team did all the work I was just the man who crossed the line first”

Yes dear Cyclist, when and if you do indeed dominate the club Quiz Night, Suppress your emotions my friend and stoically accept the prize with a gentle nod. After all nobody likes a terrible boast!

Last of all, hope that I am not on another team since clearly, TGC is going to win.

Yours in full knowledge of the glories to come


The Gentleman Cyclist – Quizzing Etiquette

Gentleman CyclistANZA club quiz: Thursday, Aug 28th. Picotin Bukit Timah

The Gentleman Cyclist has been overseas for a while searching for rare wines and somebody who makes the perfect Cognac, but having achieved these noble goals and taken the steam ship back to Singapore with his bounty (Import duty paid of course), he has started on the task of tackling the large pile of letters that were blocking the front door on his return.
Having discussed with with the masters of queuing theory, CBTL, how to deal with a large backlog, they reliably informed him that last in first out is the way to go so we grabbed the top letter and rushed it upstairs to the Library where we found TGC reading a strangely titled “Trivial Facts From Around The World”.

I thought about commenting that a Gentleman shouldn’t be concerning himself with Trivia, but thought better of questioning my master lest he give me one of those withering looks that makes me think I should start considering my position.

Dear TGC
I really hate to bother you with something so small, but I am in a real dilemma.  My cycling club is having something called a “Quiz Night” next thursday that aims to test our knowledge of facts about cycling and other unrelated matters. I have never been particularly good at these events but hate to lose at anything, so I wanted to seek your advice regarding the use of smatphone devices to look up the answers to questions.
Would this be regarded as a bad thing?

I look forward to hearing your advice

Lacking in knowledge

Dear Lacking
You present an interesting question, and one that I fully understand as I peruse my copy of “Trivial Facts from Around The World”.  There are so many useless facts that one can be questioned on that it seems totally unfair that one cannot make use of all sources of knowledge and after all, the interweb thingy was created for the sole purpose of housing the totality of man’s knowledge that was not important enough for anybody to actually bother remembering.

I mean, who knew that the bicycle was actually created so that a gentleman could spend more time at the club with his associates, an aged glass of Cognac, and a fine Cuban cigar and yet still make it home in time for when his good wife has dinner on the table.

Or that the rear derailleur was created, not to assist those who do not have the strength and endurance of Maurice Garin, but to give gentlemen an excuse to retire to their garage knowing they could not be questioned “I’m sorry my dear, I can’t go with you to meet the vicar this afternoon, there appears to be a small problem with my rear derailleur that I need to look at in the garage before tackling the ride up to Box Hill tomorrow”

Or that electronic shifting was invented, not to make make an already smooth gear change system better, but to put a stop to that pesky practice of home mechanics resolving their own technical issues and cable changes, and to ensure that all issues had to be taken back to the local bike shop. Thus speeding up the process of wealth transfer from yours truly to the local mechanic.

I’m do apologise, I digress. As a cyclist, you are fully aware that winning is everything and the manner in which the win happens is secondary.

You will also understand, that you have only cheated if you get caught, otherwise you have simply demonstrated your brilliant knowledge of the modern world and beguiled all those around you as to how you can retain so much information without it leaking from your ears.

My advice to you therefore Ms Lacking is to use all the tools at your disposal, just don’t get caught doing it, and certainly do not attribute any of this advice to me.

Good luck in the quiz, I’m sure you will emerge victorious.

Best regards

Under the cosh!

It has been a very busy few weeks for me with no letup in sight, so I’m very grateful for the writings of those who have contributed Batam write ups this week.

As I said, a very busy week so a compact edition, but not lacking punch I hope.

This week we have a couple of race reports from the open and cat 2 groups, we have an in depth tutorial of the Champion Systems kit ordering system for those of you eager to get your hands on the new kit. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER FOR THE FIRST BATCH OF KIT SO IF YOU WANT IT FAST, ORDER IT TODAY!

Finally, The Gentleman Cyclist has been coaxed out of his drawing room to give some welcome advice.

Here’s to hoping that the entire night of rain last night bodes well for a dry weekend, I will be up in Kuantan in the blazing Malaysian heat so I’ll bring you a report of what its like racing in a field of 1000+.  Sorry it’s not a race, you get a start gun, a timing chip, a position and prizes, but it’s not a race – go figure!

Above all of course, rain or shine, let’s be careful out there!

The Gentleman Cyclist – Manning Up

Gentleman Cyclist

It has been a while since we have needed the wise words of The Gentleman Cyclist, however earlier in the week  we heard the sound of a letter drop onto the door mat and we rushed to see what it brought.  We considered ignoring it as TGC was upstairs in the drawing room in dressing gown and slippers, smoking his pipe and enjoying a fine after dinner glass of Port.  [Yes I know letter come in the morning, and dinner is in the evening, but this one was delivered by DHL who seem to work 24/7 here in steamy Singapore] He had left strict instructions not to be bothered unless there was something serious, and this cry for help seemed to meet the bill, so we slipped the letter under the door, coughed and knocked on the door, then ran for cover like schoolboys in case he was displeased.  To our relief, a few hours later the response was brought downstairs by his butler.

Dear RTI

I have read keenly the lessons from The Gentleman Cyclist in the past and tried to apply them to my current situation, but, alas, both previous examples were written by lady members about treatment they received at the hands of the men, and my situation is the exact reverse.  Last Saturday on the 6am Rats ride, I turned up expecting a great performance from the legs, but unfortunately even by the time I had reached Rats I was already feeling somewhat disconcerted as the guns simply were not firing on all cylinders.

Anyway, we set off at a fair old pace and I noticed that once again we had a solitary lady in the group.  “Thank goodness I secretly thought to myself, I can just slow down under the disguise of ‘taking care’ of my female club mate and making sure she doesn’t end up having to finish the ride alone like has happened in the past”.

As expected, as the group rotated, this lady came closer to the front and once her turn came, I was looking forward the the rest I fully needed.  HANG ON!  WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? was all I could think as she proceeded to drive up the pace to the point that I thought my lungs would bust.  Heart rate off the scale, sweat running down my face, not the way I wanted to start the gentle warm up ride before the Food Canopy.

Anyway RTI, to my question, what is the right etiquette here, is it ok for a guy to shout steady up to a lady, and more importantly given the 6am is a no drop ride, is it ok for the lady to drop them men?

I wait eagerly for your reply
Confused and Emasculated

Dear Confused and Emasculated

I fully understand your situation and I believe that the youth of today refer to this strange phenomenon as ‘being chicked’.  To paraphrase a great moving picture starring one John Travolta, I am not sure if I am more concerned that somebody has been chicked or that it happens so often that we need to have a term for it!

I am often taking a leisurely ride out enjoying the weather when red faced ladies pass my on their cycles going about their business of shopping and running around after the children and so it is important to note that under no circumstances should you give away that you have been bested by one of the fairer sex, there are always reasons why you have been passed or left behind.  Here are some simple rules that you need to follow in these situations:

1. It is never, I repeat, never, acceptable to shout ‘steady up’ to a lady cyclist.  Man up, grit your teeth, grimace and bear it.  When it’s your turn at the front you can drop the pace under the guise of keeping the group together but you must not divulge that she is putting you under so much pressure that you felt the need to call a halt to proceedings.

2. If you do get ‘chicked’ it is never, I repeat, never, because she is a better rider than you.  Look down, there is a wealth of technical gadgetry that you can blame for the problem, none of which she will understand. “Sorry I need to stop, the top sprocket of the rear fandango has momentarily become detached from the chain splicer”  Get a few technical terms in there and you are home and away.

3. Show your softer side, at the point your lungs are about to burst, announce that you just want to stop to admire the scenery.  Not only do you get a rest, but she will be impressed that you have so much energy that you were able to look around you and notice what was going on.  Don’t worry if the scenery is in fact a container port, this gives you another opportunity to bring in some techno babble and demonstrate you softer side and your grasp of the technological elements of commerce.

4. If none of the above works, you need to refer to some residual fatigue that you can blame on a heroic ride you did a few days ago. “I’m sorry, my legs a still a little heavy following the Paris – Nice ride I did last week”  If this final recourse does not have this lady simply swooning into your arms, then I’m afraid you just have to admit you are uglier than Bernie Ecclestone without the benefit of his wallet.

Do not despair Confused and Emasculated, it happens to the best of us, but the important thing is to make sure the ladies do not know.  You may get a nod and a wink from a compatriot but we must stay strong lest the women begin to waver.  Lastly, of course, if none of the above works, then quietly and gracefully slip out the back of the group, making sure one of the men knows that you have an errand to run.

I hope this insight has helped and will ensure that even though you may remain confused, you are no longer emasculated.


They came, they saw. Drank my beer and dropped me on the hills…

Combining a national holiday (RTI!), the Giro, Tour of California and Dunkirk races all into a single week has OD’d me on cycling this week & I have a behind in need of some serious Chamois cream action. Thankfully to wean me off the hard stuff, we have another laid back RTI to slow things down.

RTI highlights:

So often we only have the visitors perspective, this week we have a report from Mark Losi – the much loved (and I’m not being sarcastic for once) ANZA alumni who hosted Toro and a gang of past and present ANZA visitors for a trip around KL regions finest bars and hills (in that order).   He reports that hosting a bunch of cyclists may not be all it’s cracked up to be…

Dave Powell delights with a different view of the same ride. Interesting how much less the word “beer” appears in Dave’s account.

Pierre Alain puts us all to shame by showing its still possible to ride (and race) even when work gets in the way – see how he got on against the Qatar National Team and how the Swiss precision machine earned himself a lovely new clock in the desert…

Kuatan Century Ride Apathy

Some of you might have seen Dave Powell’s email earlier in the week on the topic. Due to the lack of interest, the club won’t be supporting this ride with a chartered bus.  For those that still fancy going then you’ll have to arrange your own transportation there. Recommend having a word with Dave as he’s done some research on the potential options available & is a well organised young man.

ANZA EGM Feature Next Week:

As we mentioned last week, the ANZA Extraordinary General Meeting is taking place on June 12th with all committee positions up for nomination. Next week, RTI will devote some space to any candidate wishing to explain who they are & what their election manifesto is. If you’re up for a position then do get in touch with us (anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com)   to arrange some space in next week’s issue.

Keep it safe out there.


Caption Competition #4

What was it don said about when the cupboard is bare the caption competition comes out.

The overwhelming winner of #2

caption-2 - sock winnerYour chance to choose the winner of #3. I think we can all guess the level of smutty humour we have here, and it’s lucky certain members aren’t a part of the diplomatic corps.  A reminder of the photo and the poll for you to choose a winner (or is that weiner?)

Caption 3

And Finally caption competition #4.  On th eway to the Bintan Classic.  This time, we’re going for “What is Sean thinking” rather than “what is Sean saying”.  As usual, answers in the comments please.  If you’re on a phone/tablet and you don’t see the “leave reply” comments area, try clicking the title of this post which will take you to a seperate page that should have the ability to leave comments.  Thinking caps on ladies and gentlemen.

Caption 4