Gianni really took it in the shorts after trying to sneak his way along with a stealth EPMS. Like an alcoholic falling off the wagon, the poor fellow can’t quite come to grips with the comfort of his old friend, the saddle bag. The solution lies in finding a light toolkit to carry along with him on his rides, one that fits in one pocket in totality.
There is an elegance in minimalism; a small multi tool with just the right combination of appliances is a beautiful thing. Latex inner tubes are a nice way to keep the spare tube package small and light. As are some compact tire levers. Certainly luck favors the prepared, but if you follow that to its logical conclusion, you will need something more than a saddle bag to carry your workstand, grease gun, and headset press. The Velominatus maintains their bike, and takes every reasonable precaution to replace those parts that might fail during a ride. It is what we do; the bicycle is our lifeblood – care for it, and it will care for you.
An equipment failure is, however, always surprising – in particular to the rider. Take, for example, my pedal which unwound itself from the spindle this week. Normally, when you push, the pedal follows a nice arch and the bicycle goes forward. Not so, should the body no longer be affixed to the axel.Should this occur, the pedal will move outwardly rudly and inflect an unpredictable union of top tube and groin. It is remarkable how little forward momentum is associated with pushing on a pedal which is no longer attached to the bicycle. It is also, I surmise, not a particularly elegant thing to watch.
Speaking of inelegance and no momentum, I also once broke a chain link climbing a steep grade in the rain, while carrying with a heavy back pack. Should you encounter such an incident yourself, you will take note of the remarkably short amount of time it takes to stop moving forward and fall in a confused and cursing heap at the roadside.
The point is, accidents happen, and no matter how much care you take of your equipment. They will happen while out on the road, possibly while far from home. We learn from them, and we take the necessary measures to reduce the likelihood of it happening again. Take my pedal failure; I don’t plan to carry a pedal wrench in reaction to this incident; I instead have now added the pedal to my list of items to periodically check over. As for the chain, it had incurred some corrosion because I was experimenting with a lighter oil. I now take care to check for (and take seriously) signs of rust on a chain.
Be sensible, be careful. Take care of your machine. Kneel and flash the sign of the Merckx in your V-Kit before submitting to the road, and get a nice light toolkit with the right tools for the incidents that are most likely to happen. Maybe you’ll have a ride ruined through an unlucky event, but learn from it and improve your maintenance program rather than endeavoring to carry every tool known to the Velominatus.*
Vive La Vie Velominatus.
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*This does not apply to cases where an incident can be life threatening such as in remote mountain regions or New York City.