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Former world champion wins some new fans after lending a helping hand

Former road world champion Mark Cavendish has a couple of new fans in north east London today - after coming to the help of a cyclist who had punctured and fixing it for her.

The Dimension Data rider, fresh from winning last week's Tour of Qatar, performed the impromptu service at Tottenham Hale, according to a tweet this lunchtime by Zahrfa Damji.

The cyclist, Fran Cutts, who is training for a John O'Groats to Land's End ride for Sport Relief later this month,  described Cavendish as "an absolute hero."

She admitted, though, that she hadn't realised at the time that it was Cavendish, whom she said was "just driving past with his wife and jumped out to the rescue!"

His wife, Peta, also joined in the conversation on Twitter.

The couple were only reunited this weekend after Cavendish spent five weeks away on the road, and she added:

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

32 comments

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [505 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

When I'm cycling I always ask if someone needs help.  Not when I'm driving though, sod that  4

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imajez [92 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

When I'm cycling I always ask if someone needs help.  Not when I'm driving though, sod that  4

I got a puncure from hot grit when passing some road laying and whilst checking to see if the sealent would seal such a hole [it did eventually] a passing driver asked if I needed a hand. laugh

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MartyMcCann [265 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Fair play to Cav.  I really can't understand the vitriol he tends to attract . Yeah, he's had his moments in the heat of battle but any time I have ever read any interviews with him, he comes across as passionate-of course-, thoughtful and decent and just not  prepared to play the media game which is what seems to wind so many people up. 

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

It doesn't bode well for a JOGLE run if she needed help fixing a puncture, IMO. Or am I misunderstanding the report?

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CXR94Di2 [1634 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

How many times have women had a puncture and men who don't know them stop and do the job. Afterwards beating their chest and doing an internal Johnny Wiesmueller roar. I know I have a couple of times in my life.  4

It won't be a problem to her. She should learn just incase men die out as a species  1

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jasecd [443 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
MartyMcCann wrote:

Fair play to Cav.  I really can't understand the vitriol he tends to attract . Yeah, he's had his moments in the heat of battle but any time I have ever read any interviews with him, he comes across as passionate-of course-, thoughtful and decent and just not  prepared to play the media game which is what seems to wind so many people up. 

Heart on his sleeve, driven by emotion and a huge desire to win. This is what makes him such a captivating athlete (plus the dozens of victories).

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Boopop [17 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

It doesn't bode well for a JOGLE run if she needed help fixing a puncture, IMO. Or am I misunderstanding the report?

 

She couldn't get the tyre back on as her hands were too cold. I suspect she's doing JOGLE in the summer in which case this is unlikely to be a problem.

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ibr17xvii [175 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Boopop wrote:
brooksby wrote:

It doesn't bode well for a JOGLE run if she needed help fixing a puncture, IMO. Or am I misunderstanding the report?

 

She couldn't get the tyre back on as her hands were too cold. I suspect she's doing JOGLE in the summer in which case this is unlikely to be a problem.

 

According to her Twitter she's riding it at the end of the Feb.

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

How many times have women had a puncture and men who don't know them stop and do the job. Afterwards beating their chest and doing an internal Johnny Wiesmueller roar. I know I have a couple of times in my life.  4 It won't be a problem to her. She should learn just incase men die out as a species  1

I admit I'm a coward at that: I back off from offering help to women precisely because I don't want to come across as a chest-beating mansplainer.  Would rather be seen as a cold and distant dastard (plus, I can be a bit rubbish myself at fixing punctures 'in the field', as it were...).

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Boopop wrote:
brooksby wrote:

It doesn't bode well for a JOGLE run if she needed help fixing a puncture, IMO. Or am I misunderstanding the report?

She couldn't get the tyre back on as her hands were too cold. I suspect she's doing JOGLE in the summer in which case this is unlikely to be a problem.

If that's so, then fair enough. No offence intended.

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SevenHills [234 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

First rule of the road in my book. Always check that someone stopped by roadside is OK and offer to help.

 

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
SevenHills wrote:

First rule of the road in my book. Always check that someone stopped by roadside is OK and offer to help.

I appreciate that this is getting OT from the article, but it's really not as easy as that.

As a bloke, I am always being told by the media not to speak to single women (ie. on their own, nothing to do with marital status) I don't know, in case it looks like I am coming on to them.

So, I do get very worried that if I asked a woman whom I didn't know if she needed help, then I would appear to be implying that she couldn't do it herself and that I was working myself up to "... beating my chest and doing an internal Johnny Wiesmueller roar." (as was put by another poster) (even though, for the sake of full disclosure, I have never done a Johnny Weismuller roar in my life!).

If it's another bloke, I don't feel under that pressure and I will stop and ask if they need a hand or whatever.

So, I'll put this out to the room: would female cyclists prefer that male cyclists who are otherwise strangers ask if they need help, or not?

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SevenHills [234 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
SevenHills wrote:

First rule of the road in my book. Always check that someone stopped by roadside is OK and offer to help.

I appreciate that this is getting OT from the article, but it's really not as easy as that.

As a bloke, I am always being told by the media not to speak to single women (ie. on their own, nothing to do with marital status) I don't know, in case it looks like I am coming on to them.

So, I do get very worried that if I asked a woman whom I didn't know if she needed help, then I would appear to be implying that she couldn't do it herself and that I was working myself up to "... beating my chest and doing an internal Johnny Wiesmueller roar." (as was put by another poster) (even though, for the sake of full disclosure, I have never done a Johnny Weismuller roar in my life!).

If it's another bloke, I don't feel under that pressure and I will stop and ask if they need a hand or whatever.

So, I'll put this out to the room: would female cyclists prefer that male cyclists who are otherwise strangers ask if they need help, or not?

You don't even have to stop. A simple, "You OK?" as you approach/ride past is enough. If they want your help they will say No to that question and if they don't want your help you usually get a "Fine thanks".

Common courtesy and no pressure/creepiness from you and you have done your duty for making sure you have not passed on the other side.

I think a lot of people these days overthink this stuff. It's different if you stop and ask but if you ask whilst still moving you are allowing them to say no i don't need yorur help without invading their space or making them feel they have to accept.

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Anthony.C [230 posts] 1 year ago
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I can't speak for women (being a male) but I thnk you may be overthinking things a little..what's the worst that you could happen ? On the plus side you could get lucky and meet  your next wife..

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chihuahua [9 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

As a male cyclist, if there's an opportunity for me to stop whether male/female, younger / older or appears an inexperienced/experienced cyclist, I'll offer to help.

I know my intention is to provide some genuine and friendly help so that's all I worry about as  I can't dictate how someone else will react to that.

If they accept my help great - if not I go on my merry way.

As part of the cycling camaraderie I've experienced, I've certainly been helped out loads of times and I hope to continue to reciprocate.

If I see someone out riding on their bike, I first and foremost see them as a cyclist.

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kil0ran [355 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Will always offer help regardless of whether the rider is male or female - particularly as most of my riding is rural. What goes around comes around and having walked 8 miles home after a puncture I wouldn't wish that on anyone else.

Having said that the missus if far better at getting a tyre back on than me cheeky

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
SevenHills wrote:

I think a lot of people these days overthink this stuff. It's different if you stop and ask but if you ask whilst still moving you are allowing them to say no i don't need yorur help without invading their space or making them feel they have to accept.

Thank you - that's actually very helpful  1

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Anthony.C wrote:

I can't speak for women (being a male) but I thnk you may be overthinking things a little..what's the worst that you could happen ? On the plus side you could get lucky and meet  your next wife..

I have a wife already, and she really doesn't like cyclists  2 (Long story...).

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Duncann [1018 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
Boopop wrote:
brooksby wrote:

It doesn't bode well for a JOGLE run if she needed help fixing a puncture, IMO. Or am I misunderstanding the report?

She couldn't get the tyre back on as her hands were too cold. I suspect she's doing JOGLE in the summer in which case this is unlikely to be a problem.

If that's so, then fair enough. No offence intended.

Even in summer, the North of Scotland is often cold and wet and there aren't always many passers-by. Everyone riding long distances in remote should have basic repair abilities.

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Must be Mad [613 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Quote:

get lucky and meet  your next wife..

LOL, I like have you specify <next> wife...

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Simon E [3040 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I always stop as most people reflexively reply saying they're fine even if struggling. Dropped chains, a bungee that got wrapped round sprockets, a reluctant mini pump; last week I provided an extra light for a puncture in the dark and only this morning offered my tyre levers to a chap who'd left his set at home. Why is it a big deal?

Mark is a star, often unfairly maligned. As for the woman due to ride LEJOG, was there indication that she was attempting it unsupported? I bet she's doing more than the keyboard warriors that are so quick to put her down.

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fatbeggaronabike [849 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Going OT slightly but can people pass the word please. When I am cycling towards a cyclist on the side of thew road I ask as I put my hand out and do the old thumbs up/down because I'm going deaf and need to see the appropriate sign from the person at the side of the road.

P.S. sorry to anybody whom I've asked then sailed past because I couldn't hear.

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chihuahua [9 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
SevenHills wrote:

I think a lot of people these days overthink this stuff. It's different if you stop and ask but if you ask whilst still moving you are allowing them to say no i don't need yorur help without invading their space or making them feel they have to accept.

Thank you - that's actually very helpful  1

 

WOW - is it really different if you stop and ask???  Ok - I've been cycling along either on my own or in a group and seen a cyclist by the roadside and shouted are you ok and then been too far down the road to actually hear what their reply is i.e. I'm just going through the 'helpful fellow cyclist' motions without any real intent to offer any help.

This has been very helpful for me too as I now have a 'Before offering any help to another cyclist' checklist that should only add an extra 10 mins or so before my offer of help has been authenticated and then authorised:

1)  Establish gender - only same sex offers of help are permitted as me being out in my cycling gear on my bike putting the miles in so I can improve this year's TT times could be considered that I'm actually out there trying to get better reception on my Garmin dating app

2) Maintain non-invasion of personal space boundary for when either on your bike (5mts) and off it (2mts) - you won't be able to touch their bike but you can offer verbal assistance

3) Continously monitor the other cyclist's acceptance level of your potentially misconstrued offer of help. "Thanks that's really appreciated" - Ha Ha but what do they really mean as they could be trying to fool you and be ready to zap you with their Tazer

4) Have a meticulously planned exit strategy should your advances be considered unacceptable and they go all awry - akin to the SAS

5) Have the recipient of your advances sign a disclaimer that they will not pursue criminal or litigation proceedings against your offer of help

 

Soreted - as I'm riding home on my commute tonight other cyclists that I come across can feel so much safer now should they require a bit of help.

 

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brooksby [2295 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
chihuahua wrote:

WOW - is it really different if you stop and ask???  Ok - I've been cycling along either on my own or in a group and seen a cyclist by the roadside and shouted are you ok and then been too far down the road to actually hear what their reply is i.e. I'm just going through the 'helpful fellow cyclist' motions without any real intent to offer any help.

This has been very helpful for me too as I now have a 'Before offering any help to another cyclist' checklist that should only add an extra 10 mins or so before my offer of help has been authenticated and then authorised:

1)  Establish gender - only same sex offers of help are permitted as me being out in my cycling gear on my bike putting the miles in so I can improve this year's TT times could be considered that I'm actually out there trying to get better reception on my Garmin dating app

2) Maintain non-invasion of personal space boundary for when either on your bike (5mts) and off it (2mts) - you won't be able to touch their bike but you can offer verbal assistance

3) Continously monitor the other cyclist's acceptance level of your potentially misconstrued offer of help. "Thanks that's really appreciated" - Ha Ha but what do they really mean as they could be trying to fool you and be ready to zap you with their Tazer

4) Have a meticulously planned exit strategy should your advances be considered unacceptable and they go all awry - akin to the SAS

5) Have the recipient of your advances sign a disclaimer that they will not pursue criminal or litigation proceedings against your offer of help

 

Soreted - as I'm riding home on my commute tonight other cyclists that I come across can feel so much safer now should they require a bit of help.

I'm glad someone else understands my concerns

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The _Kaner [1094 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

A few months back...having ripped the rear derailleur off my bike (killing the frame (dropout) to death in the process -RIP little Ribble)...

...I had already phoned the wife to come pick me up, but decided I'd make an effort at changing the bike to a rideable junker- shortened the chain and hitched up the remains of the rear cabling, stuffing the rear mech in my rear pocket...and could carry on at least part of the way (some minor hils in front of me)

...two {male) cyclists stopped to ask if I needed help, which was really nice.

When I replied - "only if you've got a spare frame" , they initially laughed...until seeing that was actually what I needed...there was very little they could do to help, they also offered if they could call anyone for me...I explained it was all in hand. 

How many other male cyclists in the same predicament (mine) would accept male help...pride and all that getting in the way? Probably a low number...I'd definitely always offer anyone help. I'd also 'expect' other cyclists to at least offer help, whether mechanically gifted or not.

I once had a double flat experience on the 'Tour of Louth' after hitting a patch of broken glass (probably car headlight glass)... and having 2 x spare inner tubes on me I decided just to go for the straight swaps...who came to my rescue with a track pump...a wonderful damsel in one of the support vehicles...and she wouldn't let me pump my own tyres up...

There is no moral to either of these tales, just a happy cyclist that would accept help from any other human being that was there to offer it...and would also offer any assistance at the roadside for like-troubled folks...

 

 

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chihuahua [9 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I stopped to help an inexperienced cyclist who was walking with their bike.  Turned they had a puncture but nothing to fix it.  Whilst replacing his inner tube found out he was a funeral director.

At least I know what Funeral Directors will be arranging my funeral and it would be hilarious with me in the back for the hearse to then get a puncture.  Anyone knowing me  wouldn't offer any help but I would be ... 

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CXR94Di2 [1634 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Anthony.C wrote:

I can't speak for women (being a male) but I thnk you may be overthinking things a little..what's the worst that you could happen ? On the plus side you could get lucky and meet  your next wife..

One wife is enough, thank you  1

There seems to be a timid attitude by yielding to the political correctness brigade. Like said all you have to do is say 'Do you want some help? '

Most people will say please if they are stuck or can't fathom something out

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paulj [22 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The question I normally ask is "Do you have everything you need?" This implies that I am not questioning their ability to get themselves away, but maybe I have the missing link.

I have never had any "issues" with people I have stopped to help.

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pockstone [107 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Anthony.C wrote:

I can't speak for women (being a male) but I thnk you may be overthinking things a little..what's the worst that you could happen ? On the plus side you could get lucky and meet  your next wife..

The current one might have something to say about that.

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dottigirl [628 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I can speak for me, but not all women.

I'd be really pissed off if someone didn't stop to help because of some misguided sex thing.

However, I carry more than most, and can fix most mechanicals myself. I've even (*shock, horror*) stopped to help men before now.

Saying that, this weekend I had a visit from the P-Fairy, and relied on my male friend to help get the tyre off and on. Simply, because I was struggling with cold, wet hands, it was quicker and we both wanted to get back riding ASAP.

Well done to Cav.

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