What to pack for a "death" ride?

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As the topic goes..what would be good to pack for a trip like the one mentioned?

-- Terjin (terjindhillon@hotmail.com), June 16, 2003


The great tragedy of outdoor adventuring is that if youíre fast, youíll get to travel light, whereas the slow is consigned with the burden of the added weight necessary to sustain the duration of passage. What gear to carry on an epic ride? How long is a piece of string? It depends. How long is the ride anticipated to last? Whatís the terrain like? Whatís the weather likely to be? Is the trail shaded? How fit are my companions and I?

The gear I carry is intended to aid one of the following (in no particular order): navigation, my need for food and water, the ability to administer first-aid and keeping my bike in working order. If spending a night in the jungle is a possibility, add shelter to the equation.

Preparation for a long ride starts long before the ride itself. I try not to install a component at the last minute. Iíll usually ride my bike on the weekend before the ride, and see if I can find any- thing wrong with it. I especially check the cable housings, which sometimes can corrode from the inside out from the effects of sweat. Worn brake pads are replaced, as are frayed cables.

One other often overlooked thing is to file a flight plan with your significant other, in case she has to organise a search party to look for you. (Been known to happen.) Try and find out the phone number of the nearest police station before hand.

In addition to the usual stuff like chain lube, multi-tool, pump, patch kit etc, Iíll bring:

Joe's guide is pretty comprehensive. But there's one thing you must have, above all. A positive attitude.

At some point in your ride, say the 8th hour, you're basically moving on willpower. You butt will feel sore, yuor shoulders will ache. You may be injured from a fall earlier.

You'll feel to urge to take more breaks. Perhaps even sleep.

Water will be dwindling. Or worse yet, your ride buddy's patience.

However, don't be so optimistic that you end up making stupid decisions, like not knowing when to turn back when the odds are stacked aginst you.

A 'death' ride can be very uplifting, contradictory, but true.

-- (jmzyap@yahoo.co.uk), June 19, 2003.

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