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And you guys wonder why I carry all this junk ...(22 posts)

And you guys wonder why I carry all this junk ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 12:46 PM
... So there I am, 20.3 miles into my 40-miler today, up and down the bike path, when I see a compact car pulled off the road, a woman looking up under the rear, a bungee cord in her hand.

I stopped. Turns out her brand-new muffler had lost a mount and was dragging. I took a look. The cheapskate installers had used the original rubber "donuts", and one of those had failed.

I opened my backpack, took out the large grass-seed sack that I'd picked up off the side of the road last week thinking it would make a great litterbag for my next major trash pickup. I laid that out on the ground so I didn't mess up my riding clothes. I opened the tool sack, took out the shop rag (the muffler was still hot), and a pair of channel-lock pliers.

Using her jack, I pushed the muffler back up, hooked up the good donut (durn, sometimes I do carry donuts, as you guys know, although probably not that tough), and used the bungee cord to make a substitute for the other one.

That got her running. Hopefully, cyclists have another friend now.
You Da Man!!!!!!!(nm)Len J
Aug 31, 2001 12:52 PM
Channel Locks?Dog
Aug 31, 2001 12:52 PM
Gee whiz, you make us all look bad. I'd go nuts just thinking about carrying all that stuff, much less stopping during a ride.

Reminds me of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, when he pulls out a jack and changes the tire for the old ladies.

You're a saint.

I never got to use any of the wrenches ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 1:04 PM
... I carry 2 large combination wrenches (one for the axel nuts, one to tweak the coasterbrake play), plus two flat cone wrenches, a 1/2 - 9/16 box wrench, and sometimes a small adjustable. I have the obligatory pump, patch kit, levers, and spare tube.

For spares, I have a short length of chain and a couple of repair links, chain tool, cable ties, and some duct tape, and a couple of machine screws and nuts in case I lose one on the bike.

Hmmm, today I had the headlight and spare batteries (getting ready for the big ride next weekend that may end after dark).

Throw in a few fruit bars and gel packs, sometimes a can or two of Ensure Plus, and I can just picture what your jersey pockets would look like. Probably would drag in the rear wheel!

I really ought to get a Burley.
you need a trailerDog
Aug 31, 2001 1:05 PM
or a psv (personal support vehicle) - but that would pretty much kill any environmentalist image you might have attained

Pack Rat! ;-)grzy
Aug 31, 2001 2:51 PM
Yeah, us clever tinkerers who carry stuff seem to collect a fair amount of snide comments - which suddenly disappear when someone needs your help!

My personal criteria is that everything has to fit into a medium to smallish under saddle bag and it can't weigh too much. If I can't fix it with one of the amazing multi tools and my Swiss Army knife then we have big problems.

Ever realize that most of the repairs are done on stuff other than your own? Well maintained bikes need very little work while on the road and it's ironic that the people that carry the tools usually don't need them while the people who carry nothing are always in need of something. Had a buddy who figured he didn't need to carry anything since the rest of us had the bases covered. His strategy would sometimes backfire when he broke down either alone or when he was off the back. It didn't seem to phase him.

Did see a guy doing a century oout here in the Bay Area a few years ago with a Burley full of just about every tool a well equpied shop would have. He was even lugging shop style truing stand, dishing gauge, and deraileur re-alignment tool amoung other things - I kid you not. It was a matter of personal pride that he could undertake any repair while doing the ride. Man, he was slow up the hills.
Sounds like my kind of rig!Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 3:01 PM
In my case, the bike is so old that everyone else's tools are almost irrelevant. With QR skewers on the wheels, I would lose the need for one big wrench, another QR on the seatpost, plus all other small bolts on a modern bike being Allen-head, and there goes the small wrench. The last big wrench is relevant only to a coaster-brake, and the equivalent task on a modern bike is done with a couple of lightweight cone wrenches, usually only in the comfort of home.

I've got exactly one piece of modern hardware, the V-brake, for which I carry a single Allen wrench.

I do lighten the tool load for long rides or a lot of climbing. Some of that is only used for fine adjustments after major maintenance. I just overhauled the coasterbrake.

Then again, if you guys had to carry a corncob puller and a 6" bench vise to mount it in, you'd be hurtin' more than me!
re: And you guys wonder why I carry all this junk ...peloton
Aug 31, 2001 12:55 PM
Good work!

Imagine how fast Humma hah would be on a bike with gears, and no backpack full of tools. Scary
According to my calculations ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 1:06 PM
... about 3 mph faster. A racer would still clean my clock, but good. My experiences on a track bike suggest I'd keep up with the average roadies, but never be a competitive racer.

It would probably enable me to do double centuries and maybe longer.
What about the obvious question...?UncleMoe
Aug 31, 2001 1:20 PM
Was she hot, and if she was, did you get her number?
You mean...Incorrect
Aug 31, 2001 1:25 PM
...did she have bit t!ts? Is that too politically incorrect?
Anything over a mouthful is a waste ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 2:51 PM
... but I'm a sucker for a pretty smile.

I get prettier smiles at home.
But for the Grace of God...Jon Billheimer
Aug 31, 2001 1:30 PM
...there goes a Cat 1 -in-training. HH, if you weren't so utilitarian and perversely hardwired, you'd be an
absolute terror on a real, 21st century road bike. However, I've got to hand it to you: you have
real retro-panache. Plus, the world needs more helpful souls like yourself. Now if you could just figure
out how to load up that back pack with another ten pounds of useful stuff you could get really fit!
you LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nm
Aug 31, 2001 2:14 PM
Not bad, but she had her daughter with her ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 2:43 PM
... and I've got one I like a lot better at home.
Just like MacGyver! nmmr_spin
Aug 31, 2001 1:30 PM
Ah! I forgot to mention the Swiss Army Knife ...Humma Hah
Aug 31, 2001 2:41 PM
... that's a permanant part of the toolkit. Also known as a MacGyver knife. I use the "Tinker" model, once the official Boy Scout knife.
Wait, there's more ...Brian
Aug 31, 2001 3:12 PM
After fixing the tail pipe and as the woman was about to leave, Humma Hah noticed a noise coming from the engine compartment. Opening the hood, he recognized it as the distinctive sound caused by a leaky exhaust manifold. Not a problem - he just happened to have a manifold gasket in his tool kti. Out came the Craftsman rachet set and torque wrench, and in 15 minutes - presto, no more noise.
Nevermind what she looks like ... you have a friend for life.
Have a great long weekend!

The poster formerly known as Brian C. (Damn this new and improved site.)
Well done, Sir!bike_junkie
Aug 31, 2001 5:21 PM
Excellent way to impress a non-cyclist! Reminds me of the time I got a bee out of a young lady's car - twice in the same ride! I think she's got a better impression of cyclists now as well. Good story, HH.
re: And you guys wonder why I carry all this junk ...cycleguy
Aug 31, 2001 11:57 PM
And of course you recieve stipend from AAA.
I'm really disappointed...rib-eye
Sep 1, 2001 2:48 AM
that you had to borrow HER jack. A nice compact 5 ton hydraulic would fit just fine in a properly sized Camelbak. And you call yourself better git yerself over to Sears boy.
I've considered carrying my 3-ton floor jack ...Humma Hah
Sep 1, 2001 7:23 AM
... which is, BTW, a Craftsman, but the handle is too long to fit the pack.

Honestly, I think even the 3-ton is overkill for a 43-pound cruiser, which I can lift with one hand (I grimmace a lot when doing so). The 3-ton would lift my pickup truck with the Reliant in the load bed.