People sometimes ask me why I still call this blog “Bike Noob,” when I’ve been riding for more than five years and have a decent amount of miles under my pedals. I tell them I’m still learning new things. But sometimes, it turns out that I’m ignoring old things.
Take what happened Sunday. I had a flat. For most of us, that’s not a big deal. We pull over, open our seat bags, and pull out our spare tube and tire levers, maybe a CO2 cartridge and inflator, and fix the flat.
But I was riding a borrowed bike — a bike that came without a seatbag. Do I take the seat bag off my out-of-commission bike and put it on the loaner? I do not. I left it on my own bike when I left it with the bike mechanic.
But I’ve got another seat bag in the garage. It’s small, but there’s room for all the basic items. Did I dig it out of my bike stuff drawer and put another tube in it, along with tire levers and the CO2 stuff? I did not.
The embarrassing thing is, old age must be playing a role here. After I got the loaner from my friend, I made a mental note to get the spare bag out, fill it, and mount it on his bike. But I forgot. And when I set out for the club ride, I didn’t even notice that I hadn’t done that simple chore.
Now, I know you don’t necessarily need a seat bag to put your stuff in. Several riders I know use a wallet-like gizmo that holds what they need and fits in a jersey pocket. But however you handle it, you’ve got to be prepared to deal with the expected kinds of mishaps that can easily happen out on the road.
Another noob mistake that won’t happen again. Until it does.