I was out of town this weekend and was not able to make it to either training event. I have heard that the valuable skill of learning how to fix a flat was finally taught on Sunday. Is there going to be another occasion in the near future where this will be shown or is someone willing to set something up during the week, as I am sure there are others that were not able to make it on Sunday? I have developed a fear of flat tires since we started training. They should have AAA for bike riders.
You might consider contacting some of the local bike shops in the area. Most, if not all of them will have a 1 day class/seminar to teach you about basic bike maintenance and changing flats. They are usually free or in the case of Capital Hill bikes, will charge you a fee but will give you store credit for the fees paid.
Call or email, Conte, Capital Hills Bike, Performance Bike, Hudson Trail Outfitter, or the Bike Rack. There are more out there. Contact the bike shop nearest to where you live.
Do you have a NTP mentor ? Perhaps you and that person can get together before or after a NTP group ride and practice changing a tire together. It's one thing to talk about it, it's another thing to do it. Nothing beats real life experience.
Don't tell her to contact her mentor! Her mentor (me) stinks at changing tires. I know how to do it, but not well enough to teach. Maybe as a mentor I can find someone proficient who can teach others...
I took the class at Capitol Hill Bikes and thought it was really helpful. We changed a bunch of tires and inflated with pumps and CO2 cartridges and then cleaned up the gearing and adjusted the brakes - so all the stuff you might do regularly.
The class I took was specifically for women and was taught by a couple of women who work in the shop and was actually a lot of fun (and it was packed - they had to add multiple additional days to accommodate everyone who signed up!). I checked their schedule and didn't see future classes on there, but if you call they can give you the info.
that has got to be the funniest reply by catgold up there!!!
very very basic bike maintenance and changing a flat is no harder than washing your car or washing the dishes by hand, its not some sort of black magic that it may sound like, just ask one of the mentors or volunteers how they do it and i'm sure they can help you very easily.
and if that fails, just look it up on wikipedia, heck everythign is on that LOL...(joking)
We will definitely have more informal tire-changing /basic bike maintenance sessions after group workouts on the weekends. Whatever group workout you are able to attend next, ask a mentor/volunteer/co-leader for some help.
Lettie, I also used to have an abnormally strong fear of flats. One thing that helped was spending one or two nights each season just practicing taking the tire off, putting it back on, ad nauseum. Then last year I had a miserable set of tires and found myself changing flat after flat on the side of the road (twice DURING A FREAKIN' RACE!). Phobia cured. Hopefully that won't happen to you and instead that you find this video helpful:
They have a few other good how-to videos on their site. I also find that when it comes to changing a flat different people have different techniques and tricks - so the more instruction you can get the better until you discover what works best for you.
Next time we have a group run or ride, ask me or any of the mentors and we'll gladly go through the art of changing a tire. It is not as scary as it seems and anyone can do it.