New Outside Column!

I’ve got a new posting on the Outside’s website, in which I express the now-controversial opinion that you should know how to fix your own flat on a bike:

I’d say this will get me excommunicated from the Smugness Society, but evidently that’s already happened:

Unfollowed or muted, sure, but blocked?

That’s cold.

As for the column, it was inspired by this tweet, which got quite a bit of attention at the time, and which I also posted about:

I of course am of the opinion that there’s nothing wrong with telling people they should know how to fix a flat, and that self-sufficiency is one of the best things about riding bikes, but sadly in the age of paywalls drawing conclusions based entirely on the headline people are concluding exactly the opposite:

Setting aside for the moment the notion that tubeless tires are foolproof, it’s highly optimistic to think a new cyclist who doesn’t know how change an inner tube is going to be comfortable periodically topping off liquid sealant, re-seating tires when necessary, and all the rest of it.

As for summoning an Uber or Lyft, this is like saying you should never learn how to track a UPS delivery because your doorman will just take care of it.

Anyway, I took a drizzly ride today:And

And perhaps I angered the Flat Gods because I got one just as I was approaching home.

Then again, it was a relatively slow leak and I was able to ride it in, so maybe flat repair is an overrated skill after all.

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