Rick and the FART of bicycle maintenance

Dave assigned me to bone up on bicycle preparation, maintenance and repair.

He’s picked the wrong man for the job. Though I’ve been a bicycle commuter for 10yrs, I can barely operate a toaster. No mechanical instincts at all.

This became obvious to me when last night I attended a 1hr bike basics course at REI. There was nothing new — but I realized how hopeless I would be on the course compared with the guy leading the workshop.

A couple of general points for all, however:

  • tune up the bike immediately before the race
  • tell the techie you are in a race
  • perhaps put in new inner tubes during the tune up (just in case you have “pinch” wear)
  • don’t have the brakes too sensitive (or train forward saltos over the handlebars)
  • practice emergency exits off the bike (normally step off to one side and “run” out)
  • practice changing gears: multiple cogs quickly
  • generally keep the bike in an “easy” gear for the next uphill (coast down)
  • relax on the uphills, try not to stand
  • on each team we need someone assigned to change flat tires. And they should practice.
  • Leave a comment if you have more “tips” …


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    Filed under cycling, races, training

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