There are many technical aspects to taking part in a Triathlon. Triathletes spend many hours learning to run properly, tweaking their swimming stroke, mastering the art of cornering on the bike and a myriad of other fixes to improve their times. Sleep patterns are analysed and nutrition monitored to get the optimum performance. Equipment is analysed ad nauseum as we try to decide which bike, shoes, wetsuit, goggles will best suit our physique, fitness, weather conditions. Unfortunately all of the training regimes and carb loading in the world won’t help you if halfway through the race your bike suddenly lets you down. While there’s not a lot one can do about a broken derailleur at the top of the Healy Pass in the pouring rain, the basics of bike maintenance, from fixing punctures to making sure your brakes work, can be invaluable knowledge for all triathletes, from absolute beginners to experienced Ironman finishers. With this in mind The Blackwater Triathlon Club recently organised a bike maintenance workshop for members. Noel Linnane of Thebikefix.ie gave us his time and generously imparted his knowledge on the evening. He discussed the basics of bike maintenance with particular attention to helping us recognise the common types of wear and faults that bike components are liable to suffer during normal use. He gave particular emphasis to those areas where it could become dangerous to continue cycling your bike. He comprehensively went though how to maintain your bike and the nitty gritty of keeping it clean and roadworthy. This was a very hands on course with club members bringing their own bikes with them on the day and actually getting to do some of the maintenance that Noel was talking about. Obviously, it is also important to know when a problem is beyond your own expertise and it’s time to take your bike to a qualified bike mechanic such as Noel. Everyone who attended on the evening learned a lot from Noel and considered it to be a well spent few hours. Thanks to Noel for coming to talk to us and thanks to Niamh Fleming for arranging the evening.