Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Women-Only Flat Repair Clinic

Several ladies attended the Women's Ride Series' third event of the season: how to change a tire and patch a flat. With three female instructors (myself included) we broke down fixing a flat into simple, manageable procedures.

  1. Identify the cause of puncture. (wheels, pumps, patch kit provided)
  2. Remove tube
  3. Practice gluing patch (pinch flat and punctured tubes provided)
  4. Inflating tire

Many women are afraid to ride alone because they are unable to repair their own flat. Others wanted to be prepared and less intimidated should something go wrong. As instructors we helped identify their particular valve style and how to remove their wheel. Most importantly perhaps, we provided an easy venue for women to ask questions, any questions about their bike. And in fact, each leader approached flat repair a bit differently, which I hoped showed the ladies that's it's okay to develop your own style, fail on your first attempt, or take 45 minutes to fix your tire. Accomplishing the task is the prize.

At the very least, ladies know what items to carry, and as I explained, depending upon your route, there are good Samaritans who will stop and assist.

A very friendly lady (on the left) was attentive and eager to learn. She was the last to leave.

I enjoyed meeting a clutch of female riders. I hope to see the ladies again at the next event: riding South Burlington's bike paths.

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