Minimalist (not)

It’s no secret that I ride a lot, and that I ride long rides. My philosophy has always been that you should be able to get yourself home (or to the finish line) when things break. Pretty much no matter what. And so I carry the equipment with me that I need to fix my bike with things go south.

I probably carry too much. Here is an example. Last year at Leadville I had two tubes, a frame pump, two 20g CO2 charges with a filler, a multi tool, a space master link, tire tools, extra gloves, a rain coat, etc. I figure I was ready for just about anything. Lot’s of people scoff at carrying a frame pump, but hell if I wasn’t going to finish it was NOT going to be because I ran out of CO2 (like Lance).

One of my favorite tools is my Topeak multi tool.


It has everything you need to tighten bolts, and includes a chain tool and a spoke wrench. I never leave home without it.

On Mother’s day we packed the family up for a little MTB trail riding. The kids wanted the mom to come along and so we got a bike for her and packed her up. It was a fun ride. Coreen had never been on a MTB before. The trails we rode were really nice and flowy. Noah and Coreen rode together. Bailey and I went a little faster. We rode for about 45 minutes. Then the kids and Coreen packed up to go home. They left me to ride a lap or two hard (my family is very considerate of my personal problem 🙂 ).

It was somewhere relatively early during my hard lap that I realized I had made a mistake. No cell phone. (If you crash and get hurt its going to be a bad thing. Yes, Yetti, thank you.”)

When I got the to farthest, and lowest possible part of the loop I shifted and felt my cranks spin free.

Crap, dropped my chain. So I stopped and went to put my chain back on. But my chain had not dropped. It dropped off the bike completely and was laying on the trail. Oh crap. Chain broke.

My mind flashed to the scene in Race Across the Sky where the guy is fixing his chain at Leadville.

Off the bike, and out with the multi tool. Pop off the bad links, reattach the chain. Problem fixed. Back riding.

On a funny side note. While I was fixing my chain a couple of riders came down the trail towards me. It was the other adult who has been helping me with my high school MTB club.

“Break down?”

“Yeah, chain broke.”

“You got what you need to fix it.”


Off they went. I got home and not all that behind schedule.

Totally worth the $15 for the multi tool. Totally worth it.


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