Wednesday, May 9

I think it's boring, but...

Dough asked and a couple folks emailed me, so why not go ahead and do a quick post as to how Zac and I pulled off a Pack-less PMBAR.  So enough jerking around...

photo cred: Rob C

Here's what Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever requires the average racer to carry around all day:

And here's my version (minus the helmet which was obviously on my head):

I did not carry the eight passports that I have from the nine previous PMBAR's.  They're just there for effect.

I did have:

A prototype Fönbag with an emergency blanket, lighter, whistle, gauze, medical tape, iodine, and the 2012 passport.  I wanted to keep these things dry and the iodine and passport handy.  The Fönbag was the perfect tool for the job, and my passport didn't end up drenched in sweat.  Yes, it was designed to hold phones... whatever.  I didn't think I'd be calling anyone anyhoo.  My compass was looped around the zipper pull.

For lighting I had a commuter light on my bars pointed backwards and mounted upside down.  That was to keep it outta harms way if I wrecked, but handy if things went to shit and we were out after dark.  Ever since Eric backed off on the difficulty of the event for logistical reasons, being out after dark is probably only going to happen in an emergency for me, so I'm not carrying a bulky, high-end LED.  Also, I had a cheap, tiny blinkie for gravel safety.

My raincoat was a cheap poncho I pilfered from some emergency kits bound for a dumpster.  I had it rubber banded to the back of my number plate holder.

I wore an ugly, white Timex Ironman on my wrist.

My Tülbag had all the usual toolage in it, and I kept in tucked into the radio pocket of my Sugoi bibs.

I strapped a tube, 25g CO2 (with an installed Micro-Flate Nano inflator), and tire lever under my saddle with a Race Strap, and I had another tube, Fat 20 CO2, plus a handy 5mm allen secured down low on my seatpost with a Back Forty Strap.  There's another CO2 on the bike in an old pump holder as well.

I got away with two bottles because I looked at where I could resupply, and checked out the map for safe places to iodine water if I had to BEFORE THE RACE.  I know iodine supposedly kills everything, but I don't like the idea of drinking liquid horse poop.  Streams in horse areas were off-limits in my mind.

Zac opted for three bottles since he actually sweats (I don't).  He used a Back Forty to hold one tube, pump, and Petzel light, and an old school Awesome Strap to hold another tube, emergency blanket, and emergency poncho.  A Clutch  woulda been better, but I wasn't aware of what Zac had to work with, and he didn't ask to borrow one.

Zac's center jersey pocket had the Ace bandage and mine had the Fönbag leaving two empty pockets for gel flasks, mustard packets, zip-loc baggies of Gatorade powder, and foodage.

Pack-less PMBAR is not for everybody.  I would want more tools if I had gears, spare brake pads if it was raining, and a place to put spare clothes if the weather was iffy and cold.  You have to use your brain when packing for PMBAR, and if you think you might need something, bring it.  Luckily Zac and I need very little to get through ten hours or so in Pisgah. 

The straps, bags, and whatnot were key, but don't take the straps for granted.  Make sure your shit is tight and secure.  If you have your tube/CO2/tire lever under your saddle 24/7/365 (like I do), check it once and awhile to make sure it's snug.  Pull the tube off before a big race, and make sure the tube is still in tact.  I would do this even if my tube were in a pack or a seatbag.  Lightweight tubes are thin and fragile. Remember that.

Everyone who reads regularly knows I'm super anal about my tubes:

Eight to fourteen hours in Pisgah is no joke.  You're going to get rattled around and beat down.  It felt great to have all the normal weight off my back, and I will do this again in the future.  I suggest you lay out your gear and think it out if you wanna pack light.

So much for a "quick post."  I gotta leave early for work today since there is a huge protest going down outside of the building I have to go in and out of all day long.  Security is tight, and the city has deemed this an extraordinary event, which means they can stop me for wearing a helmet and put a camera up my butt (or something like that).


pv said...

Dont forget a spare axle/QR and spokes.

I also take zip-ties and duct tape, and, use toe-cilp straps and socks for storage. All the latter + sticks work for splints from busted chain-stays to arms and the socks make good blood-sopperuppers and torniquet's.

Occupy yer Fonebag!

AdamB said...

Great stuff, PMBAR Jedi!
Funny you should mention checking straps once in a while...
I learned about that on my road ride Sunday. Totally my fault; the strap is still Awesome. Luckily, my stuff was okay and I got it back off the road without the huge SUV running it over.