As I was compiling information for my new book, Saddle, Sore, which will focus primarily on the awkward questions a woman on a bike may have, I got to thinking.
While I had plenty of questions about saddle sores, the pad versus tampon debate, and why I needed to use a chamois, I also had a lot of mechanical know-how that I needed to learn. A lot of it seemed basic—what to keep in my saddle bag, how to adjust my seat post and saddle, how to tighten my brakes, how to change a flat… but no one seemed to be offering lessons. When I rode with my teammates and would have a mechanical issue, like a flat, the guys were always coming to my rescue… chivalrous, sure, but as they changed the flats in 30 seconds “to get us rolling faster,” I wasn’t learning how to do it myself. And I’ve realized that this is the experience that a lot of new women deal with when they get into cycling.
It wasn’t until I started training for Ironman (no judgement, please!) that I realized I needed to learn how to handle my own gear, and started practicing in earnest. So, I learned how to change a flat, among other things. And as an accompaniment to my new book (coming out at the end of February!) I decided I would put together a few super basic videos of some mechanical how-tos for the true beginners.
First up, we have The Utterly Basic Guide to Fixing a Flat
Some of you out there may find this a little too basic. Don’t worry: the book itself only glances over subjects like this, and instead focuses way more on the truly advanced awkward stuff, with help from plenty of women with more experience than myself (like gynecologists, saddle designers, coaches, and more!).