Before we all disappear for the weekend, into glorious British sunshine, last night brought an important issue to the surface in roadside breakdowns and fixing.
I’m sure most of us when riding anywhere further than the shops take a small ‘pack’ with us to cover most eventualities, mine consists of a tube, levers, pump and patches. This covers the puncture issue. Anything major and I’ll be fairly stuck!
This must be nice:
Last night I snapped my first spoke on a climb and I don’t think I’ve seen many riders with a few spare spokes in their pockets, besides which replacing a spoke on some wheels involves dis assembly…not good at the top of a mountain – go hand builts! It meant I had to finish the climb gingerly and pray it didn’t all go bang on the fast swooping descent which I was going up for in the first place!
So: before you go out tonight have a think about the problems you could encounter. The most obvious and easiest to fix is the flat issue. On a quick training ride which doesn’t stray too far from home having this covered is a good idea.
A bit further afield, drive train problems: what if your chain snaps? Or a cable for one of your derailleurs snaps? A quick link and chain tool will allow you to get home. A snapped cable is not really fixable, use the limit screws to get the ‘best’ gear you can!
For serious long distance a couple of spokes would be good, providing you can fit them to the wheel without taking the tyre off and/or undoing the hub body. Add to this a multi-tool and tyre boot there isn’t much to stop you being home in time for tea…
Another breakdown that can easily occur is your legs, if you know you’re going far take a couple of gels just in case, and plenty of water, dehydration affects performance massively. Most riders will have bonked a few times in their careers and it is horrible, the only time I’ve ever though about stopping to curl up and cry was facing 10 (just 10!) uphill miles home on a hot day with no water or food (and no shops). So don’t do it!
After all biking is the perfect excuse to eat three times as much food and not get fat,