The List

The off season adventures of Sam and Flic


The List doesn’t always have to involve some sort of extreme pain or risk of death. The point of The List after all is to provide us with extra strength, power and nous for when the new season begins.
So, while both being pretty independent kinda of gals who like to achieve things ourselves, when it comes to bike maintenance/repair both of us have been known to happily play up to the damsel in distress role.
But no more (or at least not much more), for on Friday we rocked up to Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace for a two-hour introduction to bike maintenance.
After a big cup of coffee (vital for mental clarity), the course begins.
It starts off seemingly innocent, but after a very short while things start being said that begin to make us wonder whether we are on bike course or something very, very different.
Initially, we wondered whether learning how to take a wheel off and change a tyre might be a bit simple. But then things like nipples, pumping, how important it is to keep your rim clean, and how great a certain allen key is because it has a ballhead started being talked about. Ballheads, incidentally, are very, very useful, especially if you knock your hood (no idea what that actually means by the way as was too busy sniggering to learn.)
For Sam, this is like heaven. Every word uttered plays up to her juvenile sense of humour and ability to find filth in anything. Flic is not far behind, but really innuendo is the one thing that Sam can pip her partner in crime to the post on. Just.
After changing tyres – and picking up a few new tips as you always do from the pros – we move on to changing your brake pads and taking your brakes apart to give them a good clean to stop any stickiness.
And this is where it almost gets too much. Cue the world’s greatest question. Made even greater by the fact that the poser of this question had no idea how brilliant a question it was.
Here it is. Brace yourself.
“What lubes would you recommend for certain parts?”
What follows next is uncontrollable shaking from Flic and Sam as they use all of their strength not to burst into inappropriate laughter.
That is made harder still by the reply to the question.
“For this? [the brake system] Wet lube.”
Oh no. Hold it in. Do not laugh. Stop being childish. It’s not that kind of lube. Please lord don’t let him keep talking about it. Please. Uh oh. Here it comes. The reason you should use that kind of lube.
“Wet lube is still going to be there at the end of a three-hour ride.”
Can’t look at each other. Daren’t. There will be an accident. Actually, all this trying not to piss ourselves laughing is doing our pelvic floor the world of good. See, there’s always some sort physical gain to be found!
Thankfully, things get serious again when we start learning about gears. This is something that is going to help us in the upcoming season. Looking after the mechanism that powers us forward is tremendously important. If things aren’t running quite as smoothly as they should we now know some simple ways to fine tune our gears to get the ride we are after (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
And suddenly two hours is over.
So, what have we learned from this List ticking?
Not only have we had a giggle (which we always do), learned how to control ourselves (kinda), we have picked up some great tips of how to keep our numerous steeds in good health.
And, spotted another potential for The List. This time one that will get us sweaty and potentially bloodied….

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