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Confession: I have never had to deal with a flat tire on a bike. Not only that, I haven’t done any real bike repairs to speak of. Does that lack of experience concern me? A bit, I guess, but what makes me less inclined to stress it, even though I know that, at some point in time, we’ll have to deal with a mechanical issue somewhere in the outback, is the knowledge that, when we first bought our cat, we didn’t know anything about fixing boats either! Like most cruisers, we just learned on the job. I suspect we’ll be able to do the same with biking too, and there is no way that a bike is anywhere as complex a machine as a boat. Plus we have Youtube!

How hard could it be? I think I should trademark that! 🙂

Just about every single day I read about one of our fellow cruisers having to deal with mechanical problems. Sometimes these issues occur while on passage, and are significant enough that the people actually end up in a certain amount of danger. Outside of having a wheel failure at high speed, or being hit by a car, I have to imagine that biking is… I don’t know, safer? No, given traffic accidents, not safer, but certainly less complex. And in my mind, that’s a good thing! Being stuck somewhere for weeks on end while complex repairs are made, or “boat projects” are completed, is not something that we will miss!

The definition of adventure: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. Based upon that, our friend George had a real “adventure” on the water recently. Scary stuff!


  1. I have NO Doubt that you two will be just fine on your next Adventure in the “Outback”– I wouldn’t consider the “States” The Outback either..

    You two have made it from ZTC To where you are now!! More than most Folks have done..

    I have done some limited “Cruising” IE: Around the Long Island Sound and up the Hudson/CT River to Block Island and everywhere in between.. Snowmobile Trails in VT/NH & Maine Too– Nothing like you two have accomplished though.. I’m sure I Burn’t a few more Gallons of Fuel though!! LOL..

    Play Safe Kids.. I didn’t Many Times– But I am here to tell the story’s today about yesterday.. That’s what counts..

  2. No carburetors
    … Big plus.

  3. As you know ….better to practice ( especially the rear wheel) in the comfort of your own “home” . Always Carry a spare tube, even with tubeless tires for those really ripped tires.

  4. Ha,
    I think I was 8 years when my dad told me that I was old enough to fix my own flat tires.
    Had to use my bike every day to get to school. No parents driving us kids there. Have repaired more flat tires then I want to remember. They were however not tubeless.
    Good Luck!

    • No one drove me to school either. I walked when I was young, and as a teen, I road my bike. It’s funny but I just don’t recall ever patching a flat. Maybe I have blocked it from my memory? 🙂

  5. Bike mechanicals are super easy; practically pleasant compared to boats! I’ve done lots of bike work, its not really youtube stuff,although I am sure that exists – I find that having or getting the part is usually the hardest problem. I wonder what spare parts and hardware the real touring riders carry….

  6. After taking care of a boat, bike repair is child’s play. You will do great.

  7. I’ve built bikes from components (even ‘built’ the wheels up) and I’ve also done a lot of marine work so I have a good vantage point for comparison. Believe me, with your skills, the bike mechanics is nothing – especially if you’re only dealing with high quality equipment.

    • I think wheel building is one of the toughest things, is it not?

      • Building from scratch can be tricky and even infuriating.

        You’ll probably be more in the situation of needing to replace an existing rim. The shortcut for that is to tape the new rim onto the old wheel, aligning the valve holes, then one by one transferring spokes to the new rim. You’ll then have to tension, dish & true the wheel, but at least you won’t have the headache of lacing it up.

  8. Our biggest biking concern was to roll up the right leg of the bell bottoms.

  9. Whether going tubed or tubeless, I would highly recommend filling each tire with Stans Tire Sealant:

    Or, you might use this stuff – Orange Seal Subzero.

    The Orange Seal advertises as a sealant that will work well in the cold. Changing tires in the cold and/or in the cold and wet, is something I would definitely want to avoid.

    We used the Stans and never had to change a tire on the entire trip. We heard about it after one of our tires developed a slow leak. We put Stans in the wheel, spun it round a few times and no more leak!

    Also, get some decent tire levers.

    We will be on Vancouver Island on August 1st!

    • I’m pretty sure that Daniel is using Stan’s. I actually posted a link with a comparison of the various tire sealants.

      Enjoy Vancouver Island. I’ve been a couple of times, and love it there.

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