Dollar bills, wine corks and other everyday items that can fix common cycling nuisances

by Anne-Marije Rook


Got a flat? Soggy shoes? Missing bar ends? Easily fixed with everyday household items.

Duct tape

Really, what isn’t duct tape good for? There are thousands of uses for this wonder tape.

Mudflap
Mudflaps or buddy flaps are the little fender extenders that keep your feet and your buddy’s face from getting sprayed with water and grime. You can buy them in all sorts of shapes and sizes or you can make your own.

Using strips of tape, make a tapered rectangle of about 12 centimeters wide at the bottom, the width of your fender at the top and 30 centimeters long (for the rear fender, 20cm for the front). You’ll want to use a couple layers of tape until you reach a pretty sturdy thickness. To keep the flap hanging straight down, you can add a penny or two at the very bottom in between layers for weight. Tape the mudflaps to you fender et voila!

Dry feet
Are your feet still getting wet feet even when wearing rainbooties? The water may be coming in from tip of the bootie via your legs, ticks or socks. To prevent that from happening, use duct tape to seal the bootie to your leg or tights.

Inner tubes

From wallets to jewelry to bags, there are numerous creative ways to reuse inner tubes.

Hair ties
Got a pony tail? Cut the tube into little one-centimeter wide rings and you’ve got hair ties for days and days.

Bungee cords
A more utilitarian way to repurpose your old tubes is to use them instead of bungee cords to tie down items on your bike rack. They’re lightweight, waterproof and fairly strong so you can just leave them on your rack or carry one in your bag.

A penny and a rubber band

Do you like wearing skirts but are afraid of showing ‘too much’ when riding? The ladies at “Penny in Yo’ pants” came up with a very clever little solution. All you need is a penny and a rubber band to keep it classy.

Newspaper

Got caught in the rain? Use an old newspaper to dry your shoes! Paper is absorbent and will draw the moisture out of your shoes fairly quickly. For completely drenched shoes, you may have to replace the newspaper a time or two.

Plastic baggies

Cold, wet ride ahead? Slip your feet in sandwich baggies before putting on your shoes. They will keep out the rain and wind!

Wine corks

Do you keep losing your bar plugs? Then save the corks of the next two bottles of wine you drink and use them to replace your bar end caps. A wine cork fits snugly into the ends of most handlebars, stays put and gives your bike a retro look.

Dollar bill

Pssshhhhhhh…a sharp object just slashed your tire. Not to worry. A dollar bill will get you home.

• Take the inner tube and tire off the rim
• Replace or mend the tube
• Place a dollar bill on the inside of the tire over the gash.
• If the gash isn’t very big, fold the dollar bill in half before placing it over the tear for extra strength.
• Place the tire and tube back on the rim
• Pump up your tire and you’re on your way!

Liquid dish soap

If you wear warming embrocation on your legs, you’re probably familiar with the slightly uncomfortable post-ride showers that happens when the warm water reignites the warming sensation. To prevent that from happening, slather your legs with Blue Dawn dish soap and rinse off in the shower.

Baking soda and hot water

To keep your waterbottles clean and hygienic, you should wash them after every ride, especially when using hydration products. Dish soap can leave a funky taste so use a bit of baking soda and hot water instead. Denture wash works great, too. To let them dry, I use a baby bottle drying rack. It keeps the bottle upright, takes up little counter space and I can fit at least four bottles and lids at a time.

Got any easy fix-it solution to share with our readers? List them in the comments below.

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