Reluctant gratitude; My bicycle Saviours

An intention recently arose to express gratitude in a blog post to two people who helped me overcome a frustrating challenge.

As I was writing that post, it began to seem trivial. Who would be interested in reading it? Would writing it simply add to the banality that is already saturating the world wide web, social media, and human existence?

Then other thoughts came to mind. The first; the world needs more gratitude.

A Warrior of the Light knows that he has much to be grateful for.

Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light; A Manual

That affirmation resurrected the resolve to continue with the blog.

The next thought was, “There are so few people reading your blog, just go ahead and do it for the pure enjoyment you experience from writing.” Recognising that reality brought me back to the keyboard, where the next step was the detective work needed to get the names of the people I want to thank.

Make sure the bead is resting in the centre of the bed of the rim.

YouTube presenter at Global Cycling Network

Changing a bicycle tyre should be as simple as finding helpful YouTube videos that guide you through the process. I was lucky to find two, and the quote above sums up the most important detail that enabled me to complete the task. Finding the name of the people that provided the advice is not as simple, but the quote above can be heard on YouTube in the How To Fit Any Difficult-To-Fit Bike Tyre video. Whatever your name is mate, many thanks!

The latest tyre challenge that started this entire experience involved my Brompton H6R, so the YouTube search began with keywords along the lines of Brompton + tyre + change. This led me to the wisdom of one of the sweetest and sincere and fun YouTubers I have ever encountered, and yes, her name, like the Global Cycling Network fellow’s, is elusive.

So we thought we’d re-do it, to try and explain how easy it is when you know how.

Presenter for Brilliant Bikes

“How easy it is.” These words were so welcome after over thirty minutes of struggle, repeatedly failing to get that last bit of a new tyre over the rim. After watching the video, Brompton Marathon Plus 101 – tool free installation it took only a moment to pop the tyre in place – and again that “bead in the centre of the bed of the rim” factor was the key to success.

And again – the presenter’s name remains a mystery!

In the absence of their names, I will just refer to them both as my Saviours.

Of course I am not the only person benefiting from their advice. Only a few months ago a friend of mine gave up on completing a seventy kilometre Sunday morning ride only sixteen kilometres into it because he couldn’t get his tyre back on the rim after changing the punctured tube. I immediately forwarded the Global Cycling Network video link to him. His response; “All hail”.

The comments sections of both videos, and the view counts in the hundreds and thousands stand as a testament to a global community of beneficiaries. On behalf of them all, I hereby acknowledge the good that has been done.

Not only do the videos share valuable instructional guidance, they also reveal that my Saviours share a passion for what they do. You can see it in their eyes. You can hear it in their voices.

Another thing I love about the Brilliant Bikes video is that the presenter and the people involved with the camerawork and editing clearly are having a lot of fun. The bloopers saved for the end leave no doubt of that. Whether or not one is a fan of Bromptons or bicycling in general, the entertainment value of Brilliant Bikes’ videos is priceless.

Friends of mine in London purchased Bromptons a few months ago. On discovering Brilliant Bikes (and as the presenter reminds me of one of these friends) I suggested that they pass by the Brilliant Bikes shop in Surrey should they ever need service, spares or accessories. I wish I could myself, but the distance between there and here in Singapore is kind of a challenge.

Another gem that emerged from this process was the discovery of The Plant-Based Cyclist Book by Nigel Mitchell, promoted on the Global Cycling Network webpage. Being a vegan myself, which, as a vegan, I must remind you all of at every available opportunity, discovering this book was, well… pleasing.

The first draft of this post languished for a while before I managed to give it another go. None of the original text survived the re-write. In fact, as this sentence was being typed, ten paragraphs from that draft existed below. Now they are deleted, and I can work on the featured image, upload it, and get this post published. Thanks for listening.

Published by Thomas Timlen

Where to begin? Perhaps the web content says it best...

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