Richie Porte, Wheelgate and Emergency Repairs

 

Dear Roulers,

Not much seems to be going right for Team Sky’s Richie Porte at the Giro.  He has been docked two minutes by the race jury after he received an illegal wheel change from Orica-GreenEdge‘s Simon Clarke following his puncture in the closing kilometres of stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia.  Porte punctured with seven kilometres remaining and lost 47 seconds to the main peloton, despite the wheel offered by Clarke and the assistance later provided by GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews during the chase effort.  Man doesn’t that suck.    I wonder would that have happened between Aru and some other Italian rider?

20150521-RichiePorte-Wheelgate

Also is it my imagination or is Orica-GreenEdge giving him more help than his own team?….AND WHAT EXACTLY IS THE SKY RIDER IN THE FRONT OF THE PHOTO DOING?? Given that he’s out of contract at the end of this year, are GreenEdge sending not so subtle messages about which team he should ride for next year.  Time will tell.

Given Richie’s faux pas, it triggered some thinking on my part about what else he could have done to effect an emergency repair and then in general about emergency repairs.

Here’s my bumper list of emergency repairs you could do by the side of the road:

Split Tyre No tyre patches…no problem.  Wrap strong paper, plastic sheeting around the tube inside the tyre.  Wrapping tape around the tyre with tape or part of an old inner tube may help.  Remember to disable the brakes or remove the brake blocks, otherwise the tyre won’t spin freely.
No Spare Tubes You’ll love this.  Tie a knot in the tyre on the hole.  You may be able to inflate the tyre hard enough to be able to ride.  Plan B is stuff the tyre with lots of grass and spare filling such as paper.  This is hard to do and it may be more time effective to walk to help.
Broken Gears I wish has known this a few months ago….if you break the rear derailleur, shorten the chain and remove or bypass the gears.  This will result in a single speed bike. Riding will always be quicker than walking.
Snapped Gear Cable Thank God I’ve never had this happen…screw down the ‘high adjuster’ screw on the gear mechanism, so that the chain is one of the middle sprockets.  You should be able to keep going , especially if the front derailleur is still working.  If the front cable breaks, repeat the fix and put the chain on to the smaller chain ring.
Freewheel Failure I didn’t even know that this could happen…however, use zip-tie to secure the sprockets to the spokes of the back wheel.  Be really careful as you are now riding a fixed wheel track bike.  Be very careful applying the brakes.  Provided you are careful, there’s a really good chance you’ll make to assistance.
Cracked frames or forks Again if they are carbon or aluminium forget it…if its steel or titanium based you’ve got half a chance of bending it back into shape. If you cracks in your frame, again gaffer tape and strong pieces of wood may be enough to hold the frame together long enough to reach assistance.
Bent Rims Hopefully it goes without saying this won’t work with carbon wheels.   Emergency straightening can be carried out by standing on them or leaning on them against a gutter or manhole.  You’ll have to disable the brakes.  Toss the rim when you get home.
Broken Seat Post 2 fixes that you might be able to try, depending on where the break is on the post.  The most obvious action…drop the seat post until decent portion is in the seat tube, uncomfortable but doable.  Second, find a piece of wood or tree branch that can be jammed into the two halves.  Brace the saddle to the top tube or seat stays by using gaffer tape  or straps.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these.

Until next time

Marv

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