Books etc.

One of the things they tell you in the ‘long distance riding’ events is that you are expected to be self-sufficient. OK, I can do that but I need to know HOW. So I bought some books…

The ‘Simple Bicycle Repair’ is really very basic. It didn’t cost much but it was a total waste of money. ‘The Bike Book’ on the other hand is very comprehensive – and very very nicely illustrated. I guess I am really getting ambitious (like wanting to know how to build a wheel from scratch around a dynohub – which I couldn’t find) but I certainly recommend it to anyone with any inclination to do basic stuff at home on his/her bike.

Then there was ‘The Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook’ which I read immediately, although not in great detail. It is rather amazing what people do (like the RAAM – 3000 miles Race Across America) and is packed with good ideas and advise – I’ll reread it soon.

I am still waiting for my AUDAX registration to become effective, and to receive the HANDBOOK! Meanwhile, I registered for the first 100 Km cycling event starting here. It’s the coming Saturday at 09:00 and I am preparing myself and the bike for the ‘task’.

Bike’s wheels were changed to a wider type (23 MM as opposed to the previous 18 mm), I installed another bottle holder (heavens know s how difficult it would be to find a water source – probably as easy as pie) and bought two bags so that I would not have to use a backpack (everybody says never to use one for long distance). I am still to receive them. Hopefully before the weekend!

One more small story to finish this post. Yesterday morning I was cycling to work when I heard a big BANG behind me. I am not easily frightened so I didn’t even look back. It’s only after I felt that there is something really ODD about my back wheel (like going bonk bonk bonk every time it turns) that I realised that I MAY have had a puncture! Gee- that did not happen to me so far and I have been cycling to town and back for more than a year. Well, I do have a spare inner tube and a small air pump but I forgot to bring with me the new shiny beautiful TOOL that includes tire levers! I called home and summoned the wife to the rescue (it was really only a couple of Km down the road from where we live). She agreed to come, bless her, and in the meantime I did what I could in preparation. As I was standing there, looking out for her arrival, a really nice chap on bikes (Polish) asked if I need some help. I explained the situation and he rummaged through his backpack and fished out the required tools. With his help, I was ready to go even before wife arrived at the scene! The only additional thing worth mentioning is that the nail that did the damage was about 2.5 Cm long – like REALLY BIG screw that went all the way through to the inner frame! This beast could easily puncture a car – let alone a bike.

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