PROFESSIONAL TRADE: Cyclist Greg Coombes hopes he can call on the assistance of NRMA Grafton proprietor Jeff Rose. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
PROFESSIONAL TRADE: Cyclist Greg Coombes hopes he can call on the assistance of NRMA Grafton proprietor Jeff Rose. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

NRMA may increase their service to helping cyclists

LYCRA? Check. Helmet? Check. Tyres? Flat!

Ask just about any cyclist and they will tell you that having a flat tyre on their bicycle in the middle of nowhere is not a pleasant experience.

What do you do when you are miles from home with not a spare tyre in sight?

Grafton cyclist Greg Coombes has had first-hand experience with flat tyres during his many rides over the past six years.

"I've been stuck 40kms out of town with a flat tyre and no spare," Mr Coombes said.

"Lucky a guy came along with a ute and he helped me get home.

"Sometimes you can fix a flat tyre, but then you don't have a spare if it happens again."

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Then there are the times when desperation takes over and a little bit of creativity needs to be used.

"I was with a group of five cyclists as part of a charity ride one time and we had eleven flats between the five of us," Mr Coombes said.

"We were eventually helped by a German tourist who had tyres to fit different bikes to ours, and his tubes all had holes in them.

"We had to patch all the tubes and just make them fit our tyres for the time being."

But as NRMA flirts with the idea of providing roadside assistance to cyclists, Mr Coombes said he was all thumbs up to the idea.

"I'm very protective of my bike, so I need to be able to really trust the person fixing it," he said.

And a professional definitely ticks that box over a tourist or passer-by.

NRMA deputy president Wendy Machin said while it was early days, it was looking at ways to stay relevant to its members by providing assistance to those on two wheels as cars become more reliable. "Cycling is becoming more and more popular and we need to acknowledge this," Ms Machin said.

"People's lifestyles are changing and we need to look at mobility in the wider sense."



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