Ok rural Georgia along the Silver Comet Trail is not really wilderness but it is remote in places. Tony, Jane and I rode the Silver Comet from Rockmart to the Depot last weekend and I had to re-learn some things. It had been a long time since I had done much unsupported touring . I had put my rack and a bag on the short wheel base bike I was riding but did not really check it out as well as I should have.
It all began with a Saturday evening ride around town and my broken chain. Quick link and chain tool were in my truck back at the hotel, not much use to me there. I hijacked Jane’s trike and fetched the truck. A quick fix and we were back at the hotel and ready for dinner. I should have checked everything then but did not. NOTE 1: In a remote area you need a chain tool and an extra speed link or two.
The plan for Sunday was Tony and I would begin in RockMart and Jane would drive to the Depot and ride towards us and we would meet in the middle somewhere. Good I deal over-all but equipment was split between my pack and Jane’s. Issue to come!
At Brushy Mountain Tunnel I stopped to take a pic of Tony and forgot about my now top heavy bike. The fall looked minor but when I inspected the bike I found the derailleur pushed well into the spokes of the rear wheel. The bike had fallen directly on the derailleur and bent the hanger horribly. On an aluminum frame I felt pretty sure the hanger would snap off when I tried to bend it back but there was a long way to go so I gave it a try. Miraculously, it bent back enough that it was functional. I made very careful shifts and slowed down a bit but I made it back the 20+ miles. NOTE 2: Not a big fix for this but always be aware of your bike and keep it steady when parked.
Within a few miles Tony had a flat. Not normally an issue but his spare tubes were in a bag back in Charlotte. Luckily I had a tube that would fit despite the super long stem and slight difference in diameter. Pulled out my inflator and ………. My inflator would not fit the presta valve and my adaptor was, you guessed it, in Jane’s bag at the other end of the trail. Luckily a kind soul passed and had exactly what we needed. I got Tony back on the road and that was the end of our mishaps. NOTE 3: Double check the tire kit. A tube for each size tire you have. An inflator or pump. Tire tools. Any adaptor to make your inflator fit your tubes. A patch kit.
It was a pain in the butt to re-lern the hard way but I am teachable. I am going through our bags and inventory them and repack before the next ride. I do not need to be stuck with the rhythmic strains of banjo music getting closer every minute. A self-supported ride mean
s being prepared for whatever may happen and next time, I will be.
List of stuff:
- Gloves (keeping my hands clean)
- A small purse sized baby wash tissues
- An energy bar of some type
- Zip ties
- Toilet paper (i wait until the roll is small and then crush it and pl
ace in my bag)
- Spare, fully charged batteries, even if the ride is daylight
- An extra set of cables, 1 brake and 1 shifter
- Bicycle specific multitool
I am sure I have missed something and you just can not carry an entire workshop but the list here should get you through most problems on the trail. Good Luck and smooth roads.