The things they carried. 30 days of biking, #13

I’m thinking back to dinosaur days and what people took with them on a day ride.

It wasn’t much. If it they were members of the touring club, a water bottle; the stuff to fix a flat tire or broken chain; a wallet with cash for breakfast.

Same thing for the racers minus the wallet; a few dollar bills tucked into the repair kit weighed less and worked just as well.

Some of us took off with just a banana in the back pocket of a jersey. Somebody else would carry the pump.

Somebody else would let us borrow the pump if we needed it.

Somebody else always did.

Solo rides took a bit more planning. You’d strap five tubular tires and a sewing kit to the seat rails of your bright orange Motobecane Team Champion (or Champion Team, it was your bike, so you got to call it what you wanted) and head for Springfield, Missouri, via Louisiana, Missouri. Your only flat arrived in Mexico, Missouri, which gave you enough time to wonder why the state didn’t try harder to make up place names of its own.

And now forty years have passed, and you’re wondering why you’re so well provisioned for such a short ride today.

You’ve got a hardback book, the waterproof case you store the book in, reading glasses that you’re wearing when you take the picture,—the glasses in the picture are the glasses you wear when you look at anything farther away than 18 inches—the case that holds the glasses, whichever pair they are, the baseball cap that’s on your head because the helmet isn’t, a coffee container, a scone that won’t survive this inventory, a wallet the size of a small purse that holds your pen and notebook, and a pannier on the bike to hold everything but the coffee because you’ve got an adjustable water bottle cage for that.

On the other hand, it’s good to know some things don’t change.

For example, I think the scone has some banana in it.

Yeah, definitely: banana.

April 13. 1 mile.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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