I am down in Arizona with my sister. It’s a nice break for the two of us together and spending this kind of time with her is a rare thing as she lives is a different city than I do and has a busy career. Now, as awesome as this opportunity to hang out with her is, one thing I am really missing this week besides my cats is my bike mechanic.
For those that don’t know me, my bike mechanic is my husband. While many of you can empathize with missing a loved one, some of you have already taken that leap in logic and have realized what travelling to a race without my bike mechanic means: I had to put my bike together myself. And it has to be perfectly safe and exactly to my pre-travel setup. I gotta admit, I was less that 100% confident. I’d rate my pre-build confidence at about 60%.
I’ve advised many customers, women and men alike, that it is important to know a little bit of bike maintenance. At a minimum, anyone should be prepared to and be able to fix a flat tire on the road and I can do that. It might take me longer than my husband and I might grumble a bit when I get a flat, but I can do it well enough and I can get home. Flying with and putting my bike back together is stepping up the game a bit but having mechanical shifting and rim brakes made the process a little less daunting. This is something any cyclist can and should be able to do and it was time for me to prove I could do it.
Without going into too much detail let’s just say it took me an hour and that included putting the aerobars on wrong the first time. I didn’t get too dirty and the front brake was rubbing on my first test ride but I fixed that too. And it made me so happy - I did it myself!! Regardless how the race goes this weekend, I feel I’ve taken another step towards mechanical competency. To my mind, this one is a win for me this week.
Note about this photo:
This is the sweetest thing. My husband drew a picture for me (freehand which is pretty remarkable when you see it). He also wrote notes for me outlining the steps I needed to take and in what order in order to put the bike together. If everyone had guidance like this, more of us would feel more confident about this process.
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