Cyclists helping cyclists

Danman 27 May 2009 12

I would like to publicly thank the old boy cycling on the bike path between O’connor Primary and St Josephs yesterday.

I pinged a spoke on my bike there yesterday at around 1640, the second in 18km and was just about to ring my support vehicle (read wife) to come pick me up.

Of the dozen or so people who meandered past and just stared at me, (Probably the grey hoodie/Grey trackie combo(What was I thinking):P – he was the only one to stop and see if I was okay and was genuinely concerned.

I assured him I was a-ok and he bid me farewell and left me with a renewed sense of community in the Canberra cycling fraternity, regardless of if you are an ego 500 cyclist, a commuter or are fond of weekend meanderings.

Unfortunately you can be pretty prepared, with puncture proof tyres etc but a broken spoke is pretty annoying to fix on the side of the road.

I don’t know his name, I wont remember him if I see him again, but it is good to see that there are like minded people like me still around.

On the strength of thta, I will continue to take my c02, spare tube and repair kit out on my rides, lest I be able to use it on someone elses bike.

Thanks again old boy, ride safe 🙂

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12 Responses to Cyclists helping cyclists
shiny flu shiny flu 5:46 pm 27 May 09

With cycling becoming amazingly trendy, there’s always going to people that have no clue on how things work/to repair them (same as cars)- so seeing someone stranded on the side of the road could be the situation where they wouldn’t know what to do. Unfortunately there’s also a lovely contingent of snotty nosed poseurs that wouldn’t stop even if they caused you to crash. Even in a laid-back sport like MTB, recently there are people that don’t either bother responding to a ‘hello’ out on the trail.

Duct tape and zip-ties. Even if you just wrap duct tape on itself (or around your CO2 canister etc.) you can use it to tie up the broken spoke (twisting spokes should be a last resort) and ride cautiously home. Also works well as bandage and a myriad of other things.

Danman Danman 5:36 pm 27 May 09

no, 2 spokes 18km apart but 3 days apart… … First one was fixed professionally, second one was not.

I ride on DA16 32 spoke shimano rims, they have a tendency to pop a spoke quite regularly, and as they were stock withmy new hybrid, im yet to upgrade…

Now that I know that I could have ridden home sans a spoke, ill be sweet from now on – as long as 14km on minus a spoke is ok – because that’s how far from home I was.

No taco’s or eggs here – I put the wheel in the rear dropout and then cable tied 2 cable ties to the frame, one to true the diameter, and one to true the radius. Took 40 minutes, but worked a treat.

Im lucky, I did it a lot in my yoof bashing kmart MTB’s on trails they weren’t meant for.

MsCheeky MsCheeky 4:50 pm 27 May 09

Kind of on-topic, I was doing the cycle leg of a triathlon once (I think about a 40k ride), and was hurtling down to the bottom of Uriarra Crossing getting what momentum I could for the push up the other side, when an official waved me to a stop. Right at the bottom of the hill.

Turns out a fellow competitor had a flat, and was carrying a puncture repair, but not a pump, and they wanted to borrow mine. I was happy to help, handed it over and said I’d get it back at the end, and I did. But jeez, I was narked about being stopped. Right at the bottom of the hill.

Blingerific Blingerific 4:36 pm 27 May 09

As someone who carries a fair amount of tools, spares, gaffa tape, zip-ties and a spoon (long story) I’m always surprised when it comes to repairing my own kit as to how few “Are you right?” calls you get as you stand there tinkering away. Maybe I just look to prepared?

As for fixing your own wheels do be aware folks, buildings wheels, of which re-truing is a part, is a poorly understood black art. A simple tweak to straighten a rim can do more damage than good (including making eggs and tacos ;-). A book titled “Zen and the art of wheel building” is a good reference, as is the Barnett’s Manual chapters 16 and 17.

Danman, if two spokes went in one ride it’s time to get the whole wheel re-spoked…

Kramer Kramer 2:33 pm 27 May 09

Danman – just ride it! I have ridden home (about 3Km) after flat landing a jump and breaking 4 spokes on my rear wheel. It was a little wobbly at speed, but if you just stay loose and baby it over the rough stuff you’ll get home no probs.

what semaj said: just twist the broken spokes out of the way so they don’t get caught in something (leg, chain, mech caliper).

You generally get offers of help from about 20% of cyclists when stopped on a bike path, and I reckon this goes up to 90% if you are stopped on an offroad trail.

semaj semaj 1:50 pm 27 May 09

If you have a broken spoke you can usually twist the broken bit that’s flopping about around the spoke next to it and continue to your destination. Just take it a bit easy as the wheel is no longer as strong as it should be.

Lady_from_Holt Lady_from_Holt 12:42 pm 27 May 09

There is the same type of love with motorcyclists in Canberra. I’ve been saved a bunch of times after my very old (1980 something) Honda scooter broke down on the side of the road. And I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I happened to be a 19yo blond in Kevlar jeans at the time

daddy daddy 12:18 pm 27 May 09

My bike has locking nipples that stay firm … on the spokes … so they don’t go slack …

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 12:02 pm 27 May 09

Bikes have nipples…
Can we milk them?

Danman Danman 11:58 am 27 May 09

Seems my sexual connitations continue..

Fixing spokes is pretty easy at home, just tedious and time consuming.

at 2 bucks a spoke and nipple and 20 buck labour, I would rather do it myself.

Jivrashia Jivrashia 11:29 am 27 May 09

Snarky wrote:

Snarky said :

My experience has always been that any cyclist stopped by the side of the road or path will always get at least a couple of offers of assistance.


However, I’ll have to admit that even though I’m a regular cyclist (I commute to work on a roadie every working day) I would be stumped on how to fix a broken spoke, and probably look on helplessly if it happened to a fellow Canberra cyclist.

(after googling on the topic) …First time I’ve heard of a ‘nipple’ on a bike…

Snarky Snarky 11:13 am 27 May 09

My experience has always been that any cyclist stopped by the side of the road or path will always get at least a couple of offers of assistance. It’s saved my arse a couple of times and I’m glad to have been able to pass the favours forward to even more.

This secret “fraternity” is actually one of the unmentioned treasures of cycling in Canberra – if you’re in trouble you’ll rarely be left completely in the lurch, even if the assistance is nothing more than a drink of water and company till back-up arrives.

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