Stay-at-home orders are progressively being issued across the country in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, though most allow exceptions for excursions to get essentials (like groceries) and outdoor exercise. As a result, many are turning to bike riding as an outlet for their physical and mental well-being, transportation, or both.
This now includes Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, whose home state of New Jersey issued a stay-at-home order on March 21. Now that he’s finding himself working from home, too, he released a video on his YouTube channel yesterday that shows him freshening up on his bicycle maintenance skills in his garage.
He doesn’t ride often, Colbert says, “but that’s all changing now!”
[Find 52 weeks of tips and motivation, with space to fill in your mileage and favorite routes, with the Bicycling Training Journal.]
Before being able to ride though, he needs to fix a flat tire.
It’s a rather nostalgic experience that he decides to record and share with his Late Show audience, in a segment he titles: “Trying to remember things that you knew how to do when you were younger and now have time for because you’re stuck at home.”
Colbert struggles at first to remove the very flat, rear wheel. But you can tell he’s definitely done this before, as he throws around terms like “quick release” and “derailleur.” According to the video description, fixing a flat bike tire was a skill that he learned when he was 13 years old.
“I loved to work on my bike, flip it upside down like that” Colbert says. “I felt like it was my car. I could go anywhere. I was faster, positive that I was faster than anyone in the world.”
After some trial and error, and a little elbow grease, he gets the job done. While we’d recommend using a pair of tire levers to remove and reinstall the tire, Colbert shows his resourcefulness by making do with a flathead screwdriver.
For Colbert, it seems that fixing a flat tire is “like riding a bike,” as they say; once you learn, you never forget.
If you’re looking to put your bike maintenance skills to the test, too, and need some more tips on changing a flat tire, check out our video below.
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