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 :-)
Thanks Rob :-) I didn't know Bike SA were on Franklin St, I shall have to pay them a visit.
(all the best for Sq2Sq!)
I did a Bike maintenance course through bike SA, and I think it would be very helpful for you.
They will reccommend you take the kitchen sink with you on every ride....but in all honesty, you dont need much.
Depending on how far you are going, in most cases, one spare tube, a pump, and some tyre levers are all the tools you will need to carry with you.
The most important tool is probably the mobile phone....but that really goes without saying.
Happy riding ;)
I can get a little fold up kitchen sink at most camping shops ;-)
Thanks for the advice - looks like I'll be hitting up Bike SA for whatever I can get.
Juz, if you are looking for a kitchen sink . . . I can recommend Rays Outdoors for a small folding stool, that goes over my shoulder when I ride short distances, eg to 2 hours of counting bicycles, free outdoor concerts, etc.
By the way, I have a dry sense of humour, but Jim is the expert.
Nice one Heather :-)
I'll deck myself out with sink, stool, camping stove and small esky, and I'll never worry again about being told to get back to the kitchen.
I've registered for April 12th, but have been told minimum numbers haven't booked for it yet, so we may be waiting for a later date. Keep in touch about it though and we'll do the course together.
Jim, I love reading your comments in these forums.
Very sound advice there too - I'll flutter my eyelids at passing cyclists until someone stops to help :-) And I WILL be watching carefully and learning how to do it myself. I am too proud (stubborn?) to remain afraid of air and rubber.
As I've replied above too, Bike SA classes look like a goer for me too.
A good reply by Clive.
Re household contents insurance. You many need to take out accidental damage or extras to get your bike covered for theft or damage. The extras should cover other items away from the home, like camera, clothing, sports gear, camping gear, etc.