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Last week I attended one of the free women’s bike workshops that Halfords had put on in association with British Cycling’s Breeze scheme and it was great. Shamefully I haven’t ever really put much effort into learning about bike maintenance as I have a husband who is bike-crazy (honestly, we have a whole room filled with bikes plus a bike workshop in the garden…on last count a few months ago I think we had upwards of 30 bikes) and likes to make sure all components and frames are squeaky clean at all times and in good working order. Add to that the fact that all of my bike rides up until last month have been with him, meaning I have never had to deal with a puncture by myself.

With my summer triathlons rapidly approaching and my new found tendency to just hop on my bike alone when I get home from work on sunny evenings, you potentially have a bad situation brewing.

What if I needed to change my inner tube whilst out on my own? What if my chain breaks? What if my breaks get stuck on?

Luckily, thanks to the Halfords workshop I can confidently say that I would now know how to handle all of the above situations. My main concern was knowing how to fix a puncture as that has been the thought plaguing my mind for years, and whilst I am sure I will still struggle on the side of the road whilst changing the inner tube, at least I technically know what to do and why each step needs to be done in that way. Knowledge is power.

I also met my local Breeze ambassador at the event and some of the other ladies she rides with – they have a ladies-only bike ride every few weeks of varying distances which is something I’d be really keen to join in with at some point in the future. I wouldn’t have known this network of local cyclists existed if it hadn’t been for the workshop, so that was another great outcome from attending.

The workshops are a nationwide initiative with the next event scheduled for 26th June, so I would highly recommend booking a place. Even if you’re only just starting to think about the possibility of cycling I would encourage you to attend. I already feel much more confident on my bike knowing that I have the knowledge and skill set required to tackle any misfortune that comes my way.

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