This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weight Weenie

I'm not much of one really, but I have noticed lately how heavy my tool kit has become.   The tool wrap I wanted for so long and has proven so useful makes it very easy to store all the things I need.  But the question has become, do I need them all the time?  Most of the things I carry, I would want with me on any overnight trip.
There's the requisite inner tube we have all learned to love and hate, tire wrenches, Co2 inflator (resented as much as the tube itself), some patches stuck down there somewhere(just in case the hated tube fails, in which case I'm walking anyway because I ain't carrying two CO2 cartridges), an old fashioned spoke wrench, a multi-tool,
a chain rivet tool, one (don't ask me) 5mm bolt, a very small adjustable wrench, one 5mm Allen wrench and a "special hollow ended" 6mm Allen wrench which fits the anti-theft skewers.
    I took a good look at this and thought, this is neat!  It all fits so conveniently there, but do I carry too much?  The adjustable wrench is only useful for two nuts on the bike.  I have never used a spoke wrench around town, or for that matter on an overnight trip, although I loaned it to somebody at a club ride once. Honestly, I have used the chain tool more often than the tube and inflator recently.   The multi-tool is redundant since I carry a pocket knife with screwdrivers, and the 6 or 5mm Allen's fit nearly everything on the bike(the stem, handlebars, seat post and seat better be secure if not corroded in place by now).
  Well, I decided to pare things down a bit, but I only removed the multi-tool (by far the heaviest part), the wrench, and spoke wrench.
That's not bad, it felt much lighter and I felt more in control of my limited world, but really do I need this?
Flat tires are pretty much optional these days.  I've had a couple, but both were around town where I did not want to fix them anyway, and taking a bus home was a better option.  The chain tool could be avoided most of the time(if I paid attention to my equipment), that leaves me with the need for one, maybe, two allen wrenches which could be attached to a key chain.
The tool kit stays though, fully geared for overnights, and partially for daily use, but I am thinking.
Another year without an on road blow out and I will be rethinking the spare, but right now I am paranoid.
I haven't had a bona fide puncture or blowout in a couple of years except when I was touring on some Continental tires which have been replaced with Schwalbe Marathon Ultra's.  I ride Byron around without any spare and expect to take a cab or bus if I have a problem, the other bikes scare me.  
 I'm allergic to flats.
I break out in embarrassing obscenities. 
 I'm thinkin' but I'm scared!


  1. I think all my riding buddies should have a tool bag like your original. I like riding with guys who bring a complete shop with them on rides. I bring a few basics, but my backup tool is the phone, which gives me access to my most excellent wife.

  2. Yeah, the home connection is the ultimate bailout.

  3. I recently wised up on the tool kit front... rather than bringing an ad-hoc collection of tools that I thought might be useful, I went over each bike and grabbed just the necessary tools to do the things I thought I realistically might need to do road-side. After it was all said and done, my tool kit had gotten smaller and became more useful. We have so many different size wheels in our family that I grab the appropriate tubes as we're heading out. I always carry a patch kit just in case.

  4. I keep telling myself that flats are really optional with the type of tires available these days, but you just can't seem to get around the tube for safety's sake.