I'm pretty new to cycling in general (learned to ride as a kid but pretty much stopped there). I bought a flat bar hybrid bike 3 years ago when I moved to Adelaide with the intention of commuting, riding for leisure and general health. A range of circumstances have meant that I've really done stuff-all with my bike for 3 years but I am now in a position where I can focus on it again. For the most part, I'm the kind of woman who is fairly determined and competent but this riding gig feels so foreign (I've raced cars before and I quite like 5-point harnesses and roll cages; riding a bike feel terribly exposed and vulnerable) and I confess to being terrible at starting things when I'm doing it alone.
What worries me the most on the bike is that if anything, even simple, were to happen, I'd have no freaking idea how to get myself moving again. If the chain simply comes off, I can get it back on but that's probably the extent of my capabilities; punctured tyres scare me. I thoroughly dislike the idea of being incapable of helping myself so I want to learn about my bike.
To this end I need to learn the very very basics about bike stuff so, could anyone help point me in the right direction?
Where am I best to go for info/classes/? on changing tyres etc myself?
What sort of tools etc should I have with me when I'm riding?
When I join group rides here (I'm already keen to do a few!) what sorts of equipment should I have with me?
What's the go with insurance etc? Is anyone avidly in favour or opposed to it/why? What's recommended? My bike's not worth much but I couldn't afford to replace it in a hurry and injury etc does concern me.
Is there anything else I should be asking?
Thanks for any help :-)
Asami, with 5 flats in a week, you may now be quick at puncture repairs. There has been recent advice on AC about what might be causing too many punctures. You can search for this and other topics. On the AC hub, left column, close to the bottom, go to Search This Site and enter your key words.
Nothing like necessity to force us to develop and practise our skills. :-)
I'm looking forward to meeting you on the Sakura ride in April.
People keep saying that evil 'practice' word :-P
I'll get a hold of some tools this week and start on the steep part of this learning curve. If I break a nail though, I'm going to be looking for someone to blame. Haha!
You should definitely head along to the Wednesday Night Radelaide's Ride.
They're a really good group of girls. There motto for the ride is 'No Lads, No Lycra'.
They are great for advice, plus they occasionally run 'wrench nights' where you can learn those basic sort of skills that you need, for free, from people who learned them from others. Really social, really casual and very welcoming.
The night is organised by Chelsea Austin and Margot McGovern (my missus) who are both on AC.
Cheers and beers and gears!
Clive, thanks for recommending Clark's. I ducked up there this afternoon and now have a little kit of "I'm not going to die on my own". I'd avoided buying a mini pump previously and have a great floor pump at home, but I got the mini tonight... sadly I forgot that bikes love allen keys and I don't own any so for now, I have a great little mini pump that sites beside my bike :-)
I'm getting there; making novice mistakes, but getting there! :-)
This is probably a bit late by the sounds of it, but I thought the deal below wasn't bad for someone looking to get an on-bike kit started: http://www.torpedo7.com.au/products/T7COKN1S1
As discussed elsewhere on this site you've got to feel a bit sorry for local bike shops competing with deals like this..
Man, that's a great start kit. I'm very happy to begin building a rapport with the local bike shop though and I got the most necessary parts of that kit for a few $$ less. I've no saddle bag yet & I'll get the feel for riding before I even think about adding a computer to my set up (then my inner gadgetry nerd will come out and I'll get something WAY beyond my needs but that has cool functions to make me go "oooooh").
And I'll make as many novice mistakes as I can while I'm still able to claim novice status :-D Then I'll shut up...