Tooling Up

My brother and his family have taken up cycling recently and in an exchange of emails over the weekend I was advising him on the sorts of tools and gear it was wise to carry on outings – or at least the sort of stuff I usually carry when I go out for a ride. The funny thing about it was that I had to rack my brain to recall just what it was I had in the saddlebag. I seldom – knock on wood – have breakdowns and so I seldom find myself pawing through the junk on my saddlebag and over time I have largely forgotten.

I keep a multi-tool handy – not one of those super-elaborate ultimate Swiss Army style ones with 42 different tools, plus corkscrew and toothpick, but just a dignified folding set of common sized Allen keys and two main screwdriver heads. In addition I carry a good old Rema Tip-Top inner tube patch kit in its little blue plastic box, a couple of snap-on spare links for my chain, a small but powerful hand pump, a spare inner tube, a few plastic zip-ties (great for  just-in-case – useful in the past when a mudguard came loose!) and all wrapped in an old tea-towel so I have something on which to wipe my hands after any roadside repairs, or if I unship my chain and get my hands oily putting it back on. Then chuck it in my saddlebag – a Carradice Barley – and forget until (or unless) needed.

Oh yes, and in winter I add a little aluminium torch to see by, since I am generally riding then in the cold and dark.

On a tour I would carry a bit more, but for around town or day rides where I am not likely to be near a train line if things really go pear-shaped, it is plenty, Not really much to carry but it does give a bit of peace of mind. It’ll get me home.

  5 comments for “Tooling Up

  1. Beverley
    April 28, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Thank you for the reminder. I must start taking my toolkit with me – I often go out with nothing if I am not going too far. And I do need to start building up the distance now, ready for my Danube expedition. Thus far my training has largely consisted of brushing up my German, ready to visit all those wonderful Viennese cafes you have told us about!

  2. Roff Smith
    April 28, 2017 at 6:35 am

    When do you head for Passau? Deeply envious!

    • Beverley
      April 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      I’m going during the May half term. I’m getting slightly nervous now, as I have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips, so am just hoping they’ll hold up. At least I can take my time and enjoy the scenery.

  3. Roff Smith
    April 28, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Just go slowly. It is a lovely flat ride designed to be ridden at leisure.

    • Beverley
      April 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you. I am determined not to let it get the better of me.

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