Well considering that up till now I didn’t even really know how to fix a puncture (I have to admit to being the type of cyclist that would rather walk her bike to a bike shop and pay someone else to fix a puncture rather than do it myself!) I thought it high time that I learnt some basic bike maintenance. To this end I signed up to a basic bike maintenance course run by Cycle Training UK, which I attended yesterday. The day started badly when I somehow managed to sleep through my alarm and woke up 20 mins before the course was due to start – not good considering that the course is in Surrey Quays and we live in Crystal Palace, a good 6 miles away with a good deal of London traffic in between…doh! I had been planning on cycling there but seeing as I was running so late and there was a bit of snow and a heavy frost on the ground my lovely husband volunteered to drive me 🙂 Quite impressively I think I was up, showered, dressed and in the car with my bike only 10 mins after getting up! So was only 20 mins late in the end thankfully.
The course was surprisingly good, turns out bicycles are simpler than I thought. It really is a case of it is simple when you know how (but not at all obvious if you don’t!). I can now competently (well, relatively competently I hope) fix a puncture, adjust and replace brakes, tune both sets of gears and even replace the brake and gear cables!
Pete is attending the intermediate course in a couple of weeks where he will learn more advanced things like wheel truing and spoke replacing. So fingers crossed we won’t have any bike-related disasters that we can’t fix during the trip!
As I mentioned, I was quite impressed with the course, I would recommend it for anyone who would like to be able to fix basic things on their bikes. Cost was £65 for the day.