It seems like a sin of omission not to help a new cyclist learn the basics of flat repair, since a puncture is often the difference between a few minutes of roadside futzing and waiting for a car ride home As cyclists, we could all stand to be a bit more welcoming to newcomers. Like any tight-knit group of enthusiasts, we can, whether intentionally or unintentionally, be rather proprietary when it comes to our beloved pursuit. The ultimate example of our arrogance is the oft-quoted Velominati , which may or may not be tongue-in-cheek, but which induces douche chills either way, and is so cloyingly self-important it even makes me want to quit riding.
At the same time, while it is important to eliminate barriers to entry, the self-appointed gatekeepers of cycling do have something useful to offer beyond attitude and smarm: knowledge. Yet even this seems to be increasingly unwelcome. Recently, a popular bicycle-themed Twitter account, “Arleigh aka Bike Shop Girl (@bikeshopgirlcom) exhorted cyclists to “stop telling people they must know how to change a flat,” and was met with widespread approbation. If the reception on social media is any indication, this will now become a rule of thumb.
To be clear, I respect and understand the sentiment behind the tweet: people should certainly be free to discover the joys of cycling without having to first demonstrate proficiency in flat repair. Also, the more you ride the more you learn, and the very best way to learn something is by […]
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