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Bike Maintenance Session for Women

We returned to The Bowler’s on Monday 28th March 2022 for a Bike Maintenance session to support our Women’s Rides Programme.

The session was run by Chris Matthews who is a very experienced cyclist and is no stranger to the mechanics of a bike! Some of you will already know Chris from fixing your bikes last Summer when bike shops were inundated, whilst he kindly donated any labour costs to Sue Ryder.

Chris’s usual attention to detail shone through in the detailed PowerPoint presentation he had prepared, which was pitched perfectly so everyone felt at ease to ask questions along the way. He followed this up with a practical demonstration, taking his own bike apart for a step-by-step guide to puncture repair.

Assisting Chris was Ellie Gobey, another experienced cyclist and a racer, who also has heaps of experience when it comes to bike maintenance having worked in Banjos for some time. Some of you will have seen Ellie in action on club rides and witnessed her strength in getting some of the more stubborn tyres on and off - quite impressive!

Ellie now works for Oxford Products and so she secured sponsorship from them for this event, bringing along some great goodie bags of their products for each participant.

Shaun Ward also shared his knowledge of tubeless tyres and repair solutions. Shaun is new to NRC’s Committee, with responsibility for Member Development, and has lots of experience in cycling, racing and coaching.

Chris had asked all participants to bring their front wheel along, together with a set of tyre levers, and so his demonstration was followed by a hands-on whereby everyone got stuck in and had a go with their own wheel whilst Chris, Ellie and Shaun were on hand to offer tips.

Our Women’s Rides Programme has been really popular and is growing all the time, especially after recently being awarded Community Group of the Year as part of West Berkshire Council’s Community Champions 2021 programme.

This session was a great success and enhances our offering so that we can further build on rider confidence. We are seeing lots of our ladies now taking part in the mixed-group rides. This is down to the all-inclusive nature of Newbury Road Club and its members, and we are grateful for the support, advice and encouragement we receive!

We hope to run another session at some point and maybe extend it to cover other areas of bike maintenance.

Huge thanks to Chris, Ellie and Shaun for a great evening, to Oxford Products for their generous sponsorship, and to Richard and his team at The Bowler’s for being so helpful and accommodating, as always!

The feedback speaks for itself :

"It was a great evening with lots of expert advice and top tips for overcoming the usual problems when it comes to puncture repairs and changing inner tubes. No question was too silly and once we'd learnt the theory, we tested our new skills on our own tyres. I now feel more confident in my ability to deal with punctures going out on my own, though no doubt we'll all be helping each other on club rides!" - Cat

"At last, a step by step guide to changing an inner tube. It was the one thing I dreaded when going out by myself. What fantastic tips from Chris and I managed to change my inner tube without any help in about 8 minutes! I felt very confident that I could repeat my success, if needed, when out riding this morning. A big thumbs up for Chris!"- Linda

"Thanks to everyone involved but particularly to Chris, Ellie and Shaun for a fabulous evening on Bike maintenance. I have only very recently joined NRC so I felt very lucky to be able to take part in this course, and I was made to feel very welcome as a newbie. Having ridden bikes all my life I am rather ashamed to say that I have hardly ever had to sort out my own punctures. After the excellent presentation by Chris and Ellie and a hands on practical session with our own wheels, I feel confident that I can now get myself back on the road if I have a puncture, better late than never I suppose!" - Jo

"Last night I went along to the Bike Maintenance evening put on by NRC. Well what a worthwhile evening it was! Chris, Ellie and Shaun, the three presenters were so knowledgeable and professional with the presentation, whilst making it very interesting and user friendly. The point of the evening was being able to change an inner tube when a puncture occurred on your bike whilst out on a ride. There was an easy guide via a PowerPoint presentation highlighting each stage from removing the wheel from the bike, deflating the tyre and easing it off the rim, leading to removal of the inner tube, finding the cause of the puncture and removing the debris, through to inserting the new inner tube, reinflating the tyre and finally putting the wheel back onto the bike. We finished with a practical session and I think most people managed to get their inner tubes out and then put them back in and reinflate their tyres. A most successful and well presented evening. Thank you NRC!" - Brenda


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