How not to change the tyres on your bike

Hopefully, in two weeks’ time, I’ll be soaking up the delights of Paris having cycled there from London – and I’m in full prep mode at the moment, buying up all sorts of things that I might need. I’ve also bought some things I definitely need – like some new tyres for my road bike.  They didn’t arrive in time for the bike’s service (mental note: when buying from Ribble Cycles, free postage doesn’t just mean first class instead of next day, it means it might take a couple of days to pick too) so, when my son’s football match was cancelled due to the downpour yesterday morning, I took the opportunity to change my tyres.

Because it was tipping it down outside and the garage is too full of “stuff” (and has pretty poor lighting), I decided to work in the kitchen.  Yes, I was that bloke with his bike in bits in the kitchen, and Mrs W. seemed to understand why.

Having changed the front tyre – rule 40 applies –  (and taken the opportunity to test inflating tyres with a CO2 canister…), I remembered that tyres are normally directional. Oops. I hadn’t popped the back one off yet, so I was examining what was left of the tread pattern to try and work it out, holding it up to the daylight from the kitchen skylight when… it slipped out my hand and my rear cassette made some nasty gouges in the edge of our rather expensive Silestone counter. Arghh.

After determining the correct tyre direction I found that, by luck, the front one was on the right way (50/50 odds) so I proceeded to change the back tyre.  I popped it back onto the bike – following rule 41 – inflated it with my track pump and, whilst watching the gauge more than tyre I didn’t see the bulge where the tyre had popped off the rim at one point. After pumping it up to 110PSI, I bent down to investigate and – BOOM! – the inner tube exploded right next to my ear. Not good.

So, spare inner tube fitted, careful inspection and this time everything seems OK.  I guess we’ll find out when I take it for a ride tomorrow.  Should have been a simple job – but was made far harder through my incompetence – and I spent the next couple of hours phoning around to try and find out if anyone can repair scratches/chips in Silestone counters…

There’s nothing in the Velominati Rules about being an idiot is there?

Three cycling challenges for this summer

Remember “Fit at 40” – my quest to lose three stone and run three races of 10km or above before my 40th birthday?  I got there, although a succession of running-related injuries put pay to some of my good intentions for 2013 but there’s plenty of two-wheeled exercise still taking place (I even broke Rule 42 and completed a sprint triathlon last year).

This year I have three personal challenges planned on the bike that will all stretch me in different ways:

  1. In June, I’m joining a group of friends who are cycling from London to Paris and raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart foundation.  That’s about 270km in 3 days.
  2. If that wasn’t challenging enough, in July, I’m joining a team of riders from Fujitsu, cycling from Wakefield to Manchester, including part of the Tour de France route and including the fearsome Holme Moss climb. We call it the Tour de Fujitsu and we’re raising money for Streetbikes CIC.  Frankly, I’m a bit worried about that one. I’ve driven over Holme Moss and remember it being pretty steep and long.
  3. Then, in August, I’m taking part in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100, retracing the steps of the 2012 Olympic road race.

Oh yes, and I’m going to be a Tour de France Tourmaker too… but that’s not on my bike!

If anyone would like to support me by sponsoring either the London-Paris or Tour de Fujitsu rides, it would be very much appreciated. You can also follow my training progress on Strava.