Anke had changed exactly one inner tube in her life. The logical consequence: start a bicycle tutorial series on YouTube. So that beginners finally don’t feel like fools anymore. And in the end not only know what to do when they have a flat tyre, but also (spoiler!) what a mini Shetland pony has to do with saddle height.
When YouTube explains how to fix a flat tyre, it’s usually Kai-Uwe from the most common bike shop standing in his workshop, the bike hanging casually on the mounting stand and the clinically clean tyre being taken off and put back on with somnambulistic confidence. After all, Kai-Uwe has done it dozens of times.
I, on the other hand, don’t have a mounting stand. I’ve had exactly one flat tyre so far. My tyre is rarely clean when I stop on the dirt road. And every time I watch a bike tutorial on YouTube about whatever, I feel like a fool. Because with all the mechanics and ex-professionals jumping around between the “Subscribe” buttons, everything always looks so incredibly easy. It’s a snap and the bike is fit again. But with me, nothing ever goes in a jiffy!
Merci Pandemie – The one-eyed among the blind
But I have Corona to thank for the fact that, after a lot of agonising time on the internet and a few emergency admissions to the bike shop, I have now become the one-eyed among the blind. After all, this unspeakable pandemic has at least had a positive effect and has brought more people onto bicycles than chopsticks into our nostrils. Suddenly, half my circle of acquaintances was knocking my door and wanted to know what kind of gravel bike to buy, whether the open-end wrench supplied by the online retailer was a torque wrench and how to pump up that funny valve with the wobbly thing on top.
The principle that you only have to find someone dumber than you to feel really smart works better in the bike biz than anywhere else. After all, as a newcomer, you first ride against a wall of expertise – and don’t always meet with understanding from more experienced colleagues.
Nobody is born knowing how to remove a rear wheel
Especially on the internet, there is often a frightening lack of empathy when supposedly stupid questions are asked. The fact that the better-knower didn’t come into the world knowing that you should shift to the smallest sprocket to remove the rear wheel (let alone what a sprocket even is) is often forgotten. But since I’ve only known this for a short time and my ego doesn’t care to admit it, the logical conclusion was to become an explainer on YouTube myself. That’s why the next sentence is stolen from the teaser of “How To fahrRad”: the first bicycle tutorial series whose core competence is based on incompetence.
When the bar is set low, a sense of achievement is guaranteed
Because let’s be honest: when people in the living room try to copy what Kai-Uwe is demonstrating in his workshop, 90 % of them don’t succeed. And that is frustrating. With me, on the other hand, the bar is set very low. Almost with a guarantee of success. Including failures for good humour.
But since I also have a real job and am actually a journalist, you can still trust that the information is correct. Because I have researched it beforehand. And I know that it’s not a good idea to wear pants under your cycling shorts. Because I’ve tried it.
Fake It Till You Make It
Admittedly: In the beginning, it was all just a crazy idea. A PowerPoint presentation I made on the couch one rainy Sunday evening, a shot in the dark. I went all out and told everyone how cool it was going to be – even though I’d never done a tutorial in my life. But when suddenly companies like Specialized, Rapha, Oakley and Shimano were on board, I couldn’t get out of it anymore.
Fortunately, the GRAN FONDO crew also has a heart for impostors and adopted me after only 30 km of riding together in the evening – which is why I’m now asking the questions as a rookie on duty in the editorial department. Teamwork, dream work and all that.
So I’m not only learning how to remove a rear wheel, but also how to do it in front of a camera without being in the way the whole time. Because at How To fahrRad it’s not just the repairs that are learning by doing, but also the tutorials themselves. Inwardly, I’m already dying at the thought of mansplaining YouTube comments. But what won’t you do for fame? Whereas I’m actually much more interested in getting people with breakdowns off the dirt roads without them being in a bad mood. Even if I have to cast a mini-pony to do so (saddle height, you know).
With this in mind: Please subscribe! Follow! Like!
Apparently that’s how it works on the internet …
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Words: Anke Eberhardt Photos: Julian Rohn