Survive Anything

From overexcited dogs to flat tyres, here are some of our most inventive - some would say weird - reader tips


Posted: 11 March 2010
by Heather Rodenbach

Survival Tools

"If you're having a hard time getting a tight tyre onto a rim, throw it into the clothes dryer for about a minute. The rubber softens and becomes easier to stretch. I've done this many times and have never ruined a tyre." Jim Camut

"If that dog on your training route isn't put off by the water-bottle squirt, try keeping a few dog biscuits in your jersey pocket. Next time Fido attacks, toss him a treat." Tony Mundell

"To clean a mouldy water bottle, fill it with hot water and add a denture-cleansing tablet. Let the bottle soak overnight; in the morning it will be as clean as new." Michael Hinkle

"Never underestimate the bungee cord on your hydration pack. After crashing in the woods and breaking both bones in my lower leg, I used it and two branches to make a splint. I was able to get out on my own and find help." Paul Portnoy

"Carry a tube of superglue on rides. Use it to repair a flat, a saddle, shoes, a jacket, whatever. Just don't glue yourself to your bike." Robert Clinton

"One day I was about to go on a big group ride and realised my usually shaved legs were hairy. I was out of shaving cream. My substitute: squirty cream from a can. I admit to this only because it really worked." Anonymous [and with good reason]

"To touch up ugly scuffs on the face of your cycling computer, rub the face with a fingertip of toothpaste, then wipe off the residue with a damp cloth. This won't erase deep gouges, but many of the superficial scratches will be gone, leaving a minty-fresh, and easier-to-read, screen." Keith Reynolds

"To protect your bike when shipping or transporting it to a race, put foam plumbing insulation [from a DIY shop] around the tubes. It comes in different lengths, it's easy to cut to fit and is already split lengthways for quick installation." Robert Copeland

"The tiny brush from an empty tube of mascara is the perfect tool for scrubbing chain links and other hard-to-reach items on your drivetrain. Just wash the brush with warm, soapy water first to remove the mascara." Scott Timony

"To make an ice pack that will conform to any body part, mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a ziplock bag; store the bag in the freezer. It will become very cold but remain squishy." Lee Dixon

"Be-prepared-for-anything ride-kit contents: ibuprofen, a £10 note, a self-adhering tube patch, a cleat screw and a master link." Mike McFalls

"Keep a jar next to your front door (inside, not out). Every time you go for a ride, run or swim, throw a pound into it. The more you ride, the sooner you'll be able to buy a fancy new jersey, shorts or another upgrade you didn't think you could afford." Luca Gandol


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