Middle Class Problems: Some of us aren't built for the physical or mental strain of changing a bike tyre


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We are often told that fixing a puncture is not that difficult. In fact, former cycle courier Emily Chappell tells us just that in the link below. But what those who subscribe to this view fail to take into account is that, actually, it is difficult to fix a puncture. All the more so if you're a middle-class cycling pansy.

(To tell if you're a middle-class cycling pansy, consider how you'd feel about rummaging round for tyre levers on a cold, rainy day. You shivered, didn't you? I know I did.)

To those who say that it's not changing a tyre, it's changing an inner tube, I say two things: 1) You are a pedant; and 2) Tell that to someone changing a tyre kerbside. They'd knock your block off.

Would, but couldn't, as they've shredded their hands trying to force a tyre with all the flexibility of Theresa May first off the rim, then back on.

I should know. A few years ago, I attended a course on bike maintenance to avoid the awkwardness of turning up in a shop clad in hundreds of pounds worth of kit and wheeling a steed worth hundreds more, only to stammer, "Doesn't work," and hoping someone would fix it for not too much money.

The result: I can change a tyre in a mere 20 minutes, my fragile, keyboard-attuned hands reduced to numb spades by the rigour of manual labour. For this is what Emily Chappell and the rest fail to take into account: some of us are not built (neither physically nor mentally) for this sort of strain.

Which is why I splashed more cash and bought Kevlar-fortified tyres designed never to puncture. Bugger to put on, mind…