I’ve recently developed a bad habit. It’s not a habit that will cause me problems in the years to come, slowly building from a “habit” to a “problem”, but one that has the potential for immediate and catastrophic outcomes…
On three separate occasions now I have ridden off after a food / drink break without zipping up my saddle bag, only to discover my mistake several miles later.
On the face of it, it may not seem like it’s the world’s worst habit, but it’s already starting to ruin my life. The bag is only small. As a result, it’s usually stuffed with important items: essential bike supplies, tools, food, emergency medication, mobile telephone, etc.
The first time it resulted in a lost key. It was a non-descript key, lost somewhere in the nether regions of Aberdeenshire, so more of a frustration than anything else. On Sunday however the memory resulted in me going out for a ride without a house key.
It was a conscious decision: I was only going out for a quick spin, the girls were sleeping, we were all due to go out together upon my return, I had plenty of time… I wouldn’t need a key.
Unfortunately, my reasoning proved to be flawed on a number of different fronts.
[So far my cycling career has been a series of slightly painful lessons. I’m learning from all of them, however I fear there are a huge number more to learn before we’re done!]
I’ve given some thought to my saddle bag habit: I could blame it on me achieving some level of transcendental trance while out on my bike, becoming at one with my surroundings, a different level of consciousness in which zips have little meaning. However, I suspect it’s more likely to be due to tiredness (a little) and shear stupidity (a lot). If Homer Simpson rode a bike…
My most recent lesson meant I had to “case the joint” when I arrived home. I was desperately hoping one of the doors had been left unlocked. Apparently I leave them unlocked “all the time”, but unfortunately not on this occasion.
Stuck outside, I didn’t have a huge number of options available to me. A few desperate but unanswered calls later reduced my options still further. I knew where the girls were, and it was within range. Given I was starting to get cold, I decided I should catch them up on my bike.
Fortunately (for once!) my plan came off. In the process I introduced my bike to a novel new use… transportation. I did get a few strange looks for turning up at the Sports Relief Run with my cycling shoes on, but what can a man do!?
now you’ve mastered rule #5…..Can I point you towards rule #29
This is brilliant! Such good advice for a novice cyclist! I will study at length… I’ve got a long way to go!
but… the saddle bag is for tools, patches, spare tube etc. Food+phone goes in your jersey back pockets (best place to ripen a banana for sure).
That said, I’m a specialist in realising 10mins from home that I’ve left my pump behind. Do I spoil the trip by heading back to get it, or risk near-certain puncture at the furthest point in the ride???
I have to admit I regularly breach Rule #30 too. It’s a tricky business!
If I adopted your approach I would only ever have to unzip the bag in the event of an emergency… much less risk of regularly distributing it’s contents behind me!
And how do teenage daughters react when their Dad turns up wearing lycra?
I think on this occasion the relief of me making it in one piece trumped the embarrassment of my attire! I think I got away with that one!
What’s your record like after visiting the gents?
Thanks for your concern! Fortunately I don’t usually experience the same levels of fatigue during my average pit-stop. So my record is fairly good, but I appreciate you looking out for me! 🙂
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