Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Emergency Supplies

One of the main tenats of randonneuring is to be self-sufficient and prepared to fix problems along the route. But, more than once I have seen randonneurs who sacrifice preparedness in favor of reducing weight. But, being prepared for common problems really requires very little extra weight. Here's the contents of my emergency kit:

As you can see, everything here fits into a small seatbag. to be fair, I also carry a spare tire in my handlebar bag or, sometimes in a larger seatbag, a pump attached to the frame, and some duct tape wrapped around my seatpost. But aside from that, what you see is what I carry. There's a spare tube, of course, tire levers, multitool, zip ties, and some miscellaneous items in the Altoids-sized tin. Let's look inside the tin.

Here you can see inside the tin. Everything packs fairly neatly within. It's pretty full but everything is pretty light.

Opening up the tin and spreading out the items, I have the following:
  • Patch kit (cement, patches, sandpaper
  • FiberFix emergency spoke and instructions
  • Lacing tape (useful for lots of repair jobs)
  • Small bag containing a spare PowerLink, Presta to Shrader adapter, and a few "instant" patches
The presta to schrader adapter is there only in the event I forget to bring my pump.  Sad to say, this has happened more than once on a solo ride.  In such case, at least I'll have hope of inflating a tire if I can find my way to a gas station.

The lacing tape, used in the aerospace industry for tying wire bundles, is a flat string that doesn't easily tangle, is very strong, and is quite useful when neither tape nor zip ties are a good solution.  A reasonable substitute would be dental floss.

I also carry a couple tools on my keyring. I have a folding pair of pliers and a knife. Each of these also has a few screwdrivers for good measure.  I use generator lights so the pliers and knife are to help repair a broken wire.  Of course, they can come in handy for other repairs.

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