I thought I'd take a moment today to show you what kit I carry on a typical MTB ride. I don't carry much, just the bare essentials. There are probably loads of "nice to have" bits of kit that would be a great addition but the army taught me that if you want it along, you carry it!
Here's a piccy of the contents of my Camelbak all laid out.
If we start at the top left of the photo, there's a roll of black electrical tape. Always handy for any amount of trail side reasons. Then there's my camera which is kept in its pouch which is attached to the Camelback chest strap for ease of access. Next to the camera is my Camelbak Mule, fantastic piece of kit, with a bladder that takes 3L of fluid and holds all my daily ride goodies with room to spare.
Below the camera and tape if we ignore the headache tablets is my puncture repair kit, which contains a presta valve adapter, some French Chalk, a yellow crayon (for marking punctures), a couple of heavy duty rubber patches for tyre repair and 3 steel tyre levers. I'm not sure you can get them any more, I only see plastic ones about now. Steel levers are the way forward for especially stiff and awkward tyres on tricky rims when a bit of brute force and ignorance is needed.
Below the puncture repair kit you can see what looks like an adjustable spanner with bits hanging off it. That is a Cool Tool. They were all the rage as a trail side multi tool back in the late 90's, indeed I got this one free with a years subscription to MBUK back in the day. It is a fantastically useful tool which has never let me down and the neoprene pouch it comes in keeps all of its rattly bits nice and quiet. The tool itself has all of the usual allen key sizes, a screwdriver, a chain splitter and the adjustable spanner which has thin enough jaws to enable you to use it as a pedal spanner.
Close up nicked off t'web:
And a disassembled Cool Tool:
Next to the Cool Tool is the ubiquitous poly bag to keep all of the bits dry and when wrapped up nice and tight, suitably compact and non rattly.
A spare inner tube, which has all of the air sucked out so it can be rolled up to a minimum size and packed tidily nearly completes the kit, then finally my Topeak Mountain Morph pump. nearly as good as a track pump and it gets strapped to the outside of the Camelbak for ease of access.
My MTB kit and bike.
The observant amongst you might be wondering what that thing is clamped around my seat post? Well it's this:
Stll non the wiser? This a Joby Gorillapod. No relation or anything at all to do with our very own Northern Cycling Psychopath, Joby of Biking to Work fame!
If you've clicked on the link you'll have seen it's a flexible camera tripod which is brilliant for trailside photography, something I am very keen on if absolutely pants at! I carry the tripod on the seat post as it's very easy to access there for those spur of the moment picture opportunities.
Here are a few examples of its versatility:
Bog standard tripod use.
Hanging off my back gate.
Wrapped around a our drive light.
Ok the examples above aren't exactly ideal representations of true piccy taking, but you get the idea of how handy it would be out on the trails. Fences, trees and walls etc all become photo platforms.
I hope you found that at least mildly interesting and maybe a bit useful.
Onto pedalling today, I came in on my Giant via the City Centre, I'm on the Giant today as I need to get home pretty sharpish tonight as I have a Rugby meeting this evening.
Started: 7 Jun 2010 05:39:07Ride Time: 39:57
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.79 miles
Average: 15.45 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 34.27 miles/hr
Climb: 243 feet