Women bike: a few bike hacks that can come in handy for every bicyclist

Got a flat? Soggy shoes? Missing bar ends? MacGyver your way out of some common nuisances with these bike hacks:

Dry shoes 
Got caught in the rain? Use an old Courier to dry your shoes! News paper is absorbent and will draw the moisture out of your shoes fairly quickly. For completely drenched shoes, you may have to replace the newspaper a time or two.

Dry feet
Cold, wet commute ahead? Slip your feet in sandwich baggies before putting on your shoes. They will keep out the rain and wind!

A one-dollar fix
Pssshhhhhhh…a sharp object just slashed your tire. Not to worry. A dollar bill will get you home.

  • Take the inner tube and tire off the rim
  • Replace or mend the tube
  • Place a dollar bill on the inside of the tire over the gash.
  • If the gash isn’t very big, fold the dollar bill in half before placing it over the tear for extra strength.
  • Place the tire and tube back on the rim
  • Pump up your tire and you’re on your way!

Reuse your old inner tube
From jewelry to bags, there are numerous ways to reuse inner tubes. One utilitarian way to repurpose your old tubes is to use them instead of bungee cords to tie down items on your bike rack. They’re lightweight, waterproof and fairly strong so you can just leave them on your rack or carry one in your bag.

Prevent saddle theft
Worried about getting your spendy Brooks saddle stolen? Use an old chain to tie your saddle to your bike’s seat stays (the rear triangle) to prevent theft. You’ll need an old chain, an old inner tube, and a chain breaker. 

  • Measure the needed length of the chain by looping the chain through the saddle rails and the seat stays. You’ll want it fairly tight so the chain doesn’t swing around when you ride.
  • Break the chain at the desired length, keeping in mind that you’ll have to reconnect one link.
  • Thread the chain through an equally long piece of inner tube.
  • Loop the chain-tube combo back through the rails and seat stays and connect the chain.

No more hot embro showers
If you wear warming embrocation on your legs, you’re probably familiar with the slightly uncomfortable post-ride showers that happens when the warm water reignites the warming sensation. To prevent that from happening, slather your legs with Blue Dawn dish soap and rinse off in the shower.

Ride comfortably in a skirt
Do you like wearing skirts but are afraid of showing ‘too much’ when riding? All you need is a penny and a rubber band to keep it classy. The solution is so simple, I can’t even describe it. Google “Penny in Yo’ pants” to watch the How To video. 

Clean bottles 
To keep your waterbottles clean and hygienic, you should wash them after every ride, especially when using hydration products. Dish soap can leave a funky taste so use a bit of baking soda and hot water instead. Denture wash works great, too. To let them dry, I use a baby bottle drying rack. It keeps the bottle upright, takes up little counter space and I can fit at least four bottles and lids at a time! 

 

No more missing bar ends
Do you keep losing your bar plugs? Then save the corks of the next two bottles of wine you drink and use them to replace your bar end caps. A wine cork fits snugly into the ends of most handlebars, stays put and gives your bike a retro look.

 

Thanks for the positive feedback to this column. I’m happy to help! Please continue to email me your questions at amrook@cascade.org and I’ll answer them anonymously.

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The views expressed by columnist(s) are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cascade.