Like most people I cycled as a kid. Like many people I’ve rediscovered cycling as an adult. In neither period of my life have I ever suffered from a puncture whilst out riding. This is definitely a good thing, if only because, whilst I thought I knew the theory, I’d never actually repaired or replaced an inner tube.
Today I was in my local bike shop (Live2ride in Frome) because the mechanic had agreed to let me watch him service my bike and ask questions. Fairly quickly he realised my mechanical skill level (i.e. none) and he then asked me if I’d ever replaced an inner tube. With some embarrassment I confessed that I’d not.
Servicing was temporarily put on hold whilst he walked me through the process of removing the wheels, taking the tyres off, removing and then re-fitting the inner tubes, the tyres and the wheels. To start with I felt like an idiot but by the end of it I had an immense feeling of satisfaction and relief.
So here is my tip, whatever you age and whatever your level of cycling, go through the process at home in a relaxed, dry environment. Even better, find a friend to walk you through it or go and ask the staff in your local bike shop to teach you.
Now that I’m an expert I’m going to pass the knowledge on to my daughter this weekend.