22“A super-fast wheel-change can save the day.” Geoff Brown, Race Mechanic
Despite a preference to be taken care of mechanically, responsible maintenance for smooth working order is a priority for a professional. Pro team mechanics appreciate a meticulous rider who provides equipment information in preparation for fast mechanicals and wheel-changes. Imagine needing a bike change without first conveying that your pedals are different from team issue. This is a disastrous sure way to get dropped from a race, not to mention being inconsiderate toward team staff as they attempt to switch bikes on the fly.
Likewise on your local group ride, a lack of preparation is inconsiderate toward training partners. Bring your basic flat tire stuff and know how to use it. I’m really grateful when I come prepared and someone still offers to help. Hundreds of thousands of miles later, road-side repair chivalry has saved me a few times.
On the other hand, one neutral support wheel change was the stuff of my nightmares. My tire popped on a high speed course into a screaming section. A willing but inexperienced helper took minutes for what should’ve taken seconds. I tried not to panic as I watched a promising tour turn into a week of stagiaire work,
because I and a group of others ill-fated and ill-inflated lost 16 minutes on Stage One.
In contrast, a neutral support success story was a save via a wheel change that took only seconds for our star rider at the base of a key climb on the penultimate stage. As an amateur elite team, we’d practiced wheel changes at camp. Three riders dropped back for a stunning example of teamwork, and our guy made the lead group of grimpeurs. All involved handled it like pros. This is the management of maddening circumstances for which we pray.
Prayer for Tire Repair/Wheel Changes
“…produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours…” 23Philemon 1:6
We are glad for assistance when frustrating circumstances come. We confess we are not always blamelessly prepared. We ask for diligence in risk management to avoid the worst as much as possible.
Ponder Is my bike ready for its upcoming uses? Affirm I am precise about maintenance, even if I rely on others mechanically. Watch your tires for cuts and clean off debris.
22“Brown heads home: No more Euro’ wrenching for Discovery mechanic,” by Andrew Hood Posted Sep. 30, 2006 www.velonews.com Geoff was one of Europe’s top professional mechanics for 14 years, including 3 Giros, 11 Vueltas and 12 Tours. He is from western Canada.