Fixing a puncture is a skill that every cyclist needs to master to be self-sufficient on the roads. It’s not something anyone is born knowing how to do innately (yet) – so there are a lot of videos online showing you just how to do that.
Outsider Magazine decided that wanted to make their version unique, so it stood out from the crowd and grabbed a slice of the Google search feast that is “How to change a puncture”.
Not only that, but their editor Christopher Keyes was also in on and off contact with Lance Armstrong, and thought it would be fun to show Lance reformed and “working as a bike-shop mechanic somewhere in the midwest.…”
Keyes explains the story of the video here, in an intensely insightful piece if you’ve got time to wade through it.
The video came to fruition after several weeks, and here is what was born..
Armstrong’s break from hibernation
Armstong’s presence in the public eye once again of course drew the standard comments (as expected, and many would say deserved), and editor Christopher in no way endorses Armstrong, saying: “I don’t know if a year living in disgrace has made Lance Armstrong truly remorseful. The fact is, I don’t know Lance Armstrong. Full stop.”
However, he adds: “I can tell you that the guy who walked into our offices last March was a very different person from the one I’d met before.”
Of course, this video attracted a great deal of hilarity, criticism, and it’s spurned on some anger along the way.
And, finally, it’s attracted retaliation.
Three time Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond, has never held back on his detestation of Armstrong. Speaking to CNN in 2013, he said: “If he was clean, everybody was clean, he was top 30 at best. He is not capable of, not – capable of the top five.”
He called Armstrong the greatest fraud in sporting history, and added: “This is not a sporting infraction. This is criminal.”
Always willing to take a pop at Armstrong, here is LeMond’s video, in which he of course changes the tube quicker than Armstrong, and not only inserts the initial air into the tube with his lungs, but fills the entire tyre (easy, with his remarkable vo2 capacity):
We had a go, too (a few years ago)
Of course, here at Evans Cycles we haven’t got the ex-pro racers changing our tubes when we get a puncture, but we do have pro mechanics – and they’re happy to do it for you, or give you a demonstration – like this:
The verdict on all this puncture fun?
Public rivalry between riders has always drawn the interest of the masses (think Boardman vs Obree, personally my favourite clash) – we like to see the riders outside of their lycra costumes, still cracking the whip at each other even when the bikes have been put away.
The ‘How to Change a Puncture Rivalry’ is an original method, and it’s fun to see the wise cracks in action, as opposed to restricted to the almighty 140 characters of the Twittersphere.
On top of the fun of moving images and tactical jokes, we’re also pleased that if nothing else, all this sillyness means that more people out there will be informed on how to fix their own flats.
What do you think of the How to Fix a Puncture video rivalry, do you have a favourite? And do you reckon Lance seems reformed, or LeMond is really able to fill that tube with his own almighty lungs?