I depend on the Husband during every training ride. He chooses the length and route, he leads and I follow, and I know that he’ll be there if I need him. Of course he’ll be there if I do something stupid and tip over in the parking lot, but he’s also there to fix flat tires and put the chain back on if it falls off.
But not on race day. It’s all me. If I get a flat, I’ve got to fix it, or the race is over. And I’ve worked too hard for that. So that gave me a little motivation to learn something that I care absolutely nothing about. Replacing a tube.
Last weekend I took Bike Maintenance 101, which was taught by a very patient Husband. He’s been repairing bikes since he was a kid, so he knows the official names for parts like the poky thingy, the spiky thingy, the clicker changer thingy, and the whirly thingy. But even more important than that, he knows what to do when the parts don’t do what they’re supposed to do.
I knew I had to learn this stuff before the triathlon, but since I had an opportunity to ride with a friend this week I had to learn sooner than later. I’d be the one leading this ride, so I needed to be ready in case anything went wrong.
So the Husband took me to REI and I got my own little bike purse.
Or “gear bag”. I was hoping for a pink one, but it’s the perfect size for my repair gear, my iPhone, and a pink lip gloss.
And we got this cool tire inflator that works with a CO2 cartridge. I just love gadgets, and although I prefer gadgets that work in the kitchen, I was quite impressed with this one. With one squeeze of the trigger my tire inflated perfectly! Fun!
So, I practiced in the comfort of my living room, I passed the Husband’s test, and I was ready for my first ride without him. Although I’m armed with a little knowledge and hands-on experience, I still hope I never have to fix a flat tire at the side of the road!