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Background: I was getting back home from school one day but noticed the front tire of my cycle was deflated. The nearby shops were closed that day, and I had to walk nearly than two kilometers to get to the nearest cycle pump. The last time this happened, I manually walked that distance. But this time, one of my friends - having a scooter - offered me help.

Situation: My friend rode his scooter slowly, while I sat on the backseat of the scooter. The scooter is like this:

I held onto my cycle through the middle of its handle ("middle" = that part from where a rod extends downwards into the front tire). My left hand gripped the cycle handle at about my waist level height when sitting.

Problem: within thirty seconds of his starting to ride, my balance completely corrupted. He didn't stop the scooter and my cycle's front tire started spiraling. Ultimately, my left foot got entangled in the front spokes of the tire. The front tire did a 180 deg spin, the cycle fell (and I twisted my leg, but somehow saved myself from falling over my bicycle). I obviously want to avoid this from happening again.

My question: What is the most effective method to hitch my bicycle in this situation?

  • Hey everyone, I am a new user here. If there is any clarification, please let me know. Also, I am not aware of the tags to be used here, so I put up a temporary one. Thank you! – user36817 Mar 6 '18 at 11:52
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    My advice is just don't attempt that again. As you have already found out it's dangerous to you and your bike (and your friend and his scooter). Not to mention illegal in many countries. Carry a spare inner tube, tire levers and pump instead. – Argenti Apparatus Mar 6 '18 at 12:11
  • @ArgentiApparatus Yep, I don't want to do that again. But, I can't carry all those things to school with me every day either. And this happens very rarely. The shops are also usually open (and my tires are usually not deflated in the first place either) But this one incident just happened, so I had to ask. – user36817 Mar 6 '18 at 12:16
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    A more compact option is a patch kit and CO2 cartridge inflater. If you really need a ride to inflate the tire: take the wheel off, carry that to the nearest bike shop, then come back and refit it to the bike. – Argenti Apparatus Mar 6 '18 at 12:25
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    In many countries it's normal to transport things by scooter that we wouldn't think of in Europe, America etc. (such as a whole family and a goat on one scooter). Considering we have questions on transporting bikes by car and by bike, this is a question worth asking, – Chris H Mar 6 '18 at 12:43
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No, no, no. Just no.

Two kilometers is only a half-hour walk. That's hardly a big deal. Why risk injuring or even killing yourself to save what can't be more than 15 minutes by the time you've called your friend and they've come to get you.

Alternatively, fixing a puncture "in the wild" just needs a spare inner tube, tyre levers and a pump. That takes up very little space – you can get very small pumps, such as this one (random product link; not an endorsement). If you have a locker at school, you could leave the things there, rather than carrying them back and forth. This is what I carry around with me in case I puncture, with a ruler for scale. Total weight is 205g and that's with an aluminium pump instead of a weight-weenie carbon one. If your wheels aren't quick-release, you'll need a spanner/wrench, too.

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Alternatively, take the wheel off your bike and use your friend's scooter to carry just the wheel to a place where you can repair it.

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    Also, it may be a good idea to carry an adapter for car pumps: They just cost a dollar or two, can be kept in your valet, and enable you to use pretty much any gas stations' air pump. I did that for a long time until I finally decided to switch completely to car valve tubes. – cmaster - reinstate monica Mar 6 '18 at 20:06
  • Small pumps with direct connection are quite unwieldy, so I include adapter/extension hose to my set. A bit bigger pumps can have hose hidden inside together with valve adapter @cmaster mentioned. – PTwr Mar 7 '18 at 9:38
  • @PTwr Sure, the small pump's annoying to use. But I'd rather be annoyed once every few months when I get a puncture (so I'm already annoyed anyway) than be annoyed by carrying a larger pump every time I ride my bike. Other people might view the trade-off differently. – David Richerby Mar 7 '18 at 9:55
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    @DavidRicherby aye, I have big rack sacks so I can comfortably carry a lot more than lightweight roadie/racer or full suspension can in backpack or those tiny saddle pockets. But in exchange I get annoyed a bit more while removing rear wheel :) – PTwr Mar 7 '18 at 10:51
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When done by a rider on a bike moving a second bicycle, this is called ghost riding and it can be easy or very hard depending on the two bikes and their riding characteristics.

Normally the rider would steer, brake and perhaps gear change with one hand, and have their other hand on the middle of the tow-bike's handlebars.

Braking is done slowly and gently. Your tow-hand will get very sore after a short time.

The tow bike will follow a different path when turning, so you have to be careful to not hang up.

One minor advantage is that you can trackstand easily at the red lights.


In your case it might have worked better to lift the front wheel clear of the ground and clear of the motorbike's hot exhaust.

If the bike was rideable, you could have used a short tow rope, tied to the scooted while the bicycle rider holds it in one hand for ease of release (ie, not tied to anything.) An inner tube works well for this.

But the real solution is to go prepared with tools and spares, as per the accepted answers.

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  • "while the bicycle rider holds it in one hand for ease of release" if I hold the rope in my left hand, won't I face a "asymmetric" situation and fall over? I imagine I might fall to the left side, but I am not sure. What if I tie the rope to the middle of the handlebars instead, why wouldn't that work? – user36817 Mar 7 '18 at 1:33
  • @GaurangTandon Good point - sorry for being vague. You hold your towrope with one hand, and on the centerline of the bike. Your arm is bent like holding a cup of tea or a microphone, and your elbow flexes to adjust for tension. Else the tower can lurch off and yank the towed over. This part presumes your bike can wheel (ie transmission is broken but the tyres are still sound) so it doesn't fit your "flat tyre" situation. – Criggie Mar 7 '18 at 1:43
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    I'm not sure why you put the "hypothetical" tag on my question. The incident I described did happen IRL. And the answers to this question are also IRL examples, so, why hypothetical? I do not find the tag wiki "Theoretical questions that are unlikely to ever be applied or tried." applicable to my case. – user36817 Mar 7 '18 at 14:12
  • @GaurangTandon The answer everyone is giving you is "go prepared with spares and tools" which is 100% correct advice. Moving a bicycle with a scooter is very unlikely to be the best course of action at any time, which makes it hypothetical. Its interesting to consider, but there are many different solutions that are better and safer for you, your scooter-rider, and the other users of the roadway. – Criggie Mar 7 '18 at 19:34
  • @GaurangTandon EXAMPLE consider "how do I ride a bike with a broken collar bone?" which is a very bad idea but may be the only way to get out of a lonely isolated area with no cell coverage once you've broken a bone. That's a hypothetical question too. – Criggie Mar 7 '18 at 19:36

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