Monday, November 29, 2010

Loading the 2nd Best Tub in Town - Winter Prep

The time has finally arrived. No snow yet, but the mercury is dipping below freezing on a regular basis. It is time to awaken the mutant. Mutant Winter, I mean. Her bottom bracket sounded like hell (think broken marbles) by the end of last winter. I have swapped it out, replaced the chain, cleaned all the gunk out of the derailleur and she's ready to roll. Except for stocking the 2nd best tub in town.

Here's a little catalogue of what will go in there.

Various batteries that fit my various lights. Especially with some of the super cheap lights that I use, this is important. They can fade to nothing super fast if they are so inclined. pic source

Zipper bags, plastic bags
A decent assortment of these will take care of all kinds of problems, from transporting wet clothes home to protecting your feet from soaked shoes or boots.
pic source

The usual assortment... spare tube, CO2 inflator things (I think I want to switch to a mini hand pump... I can see myself screwing up somehow or other with the CO2 inflator things), hex wrenches, small crescent wrench, etc. I don't even know why I bother. If I flat or suffer some sort of serious mechanical failure, I would either call Mrs. Rantwick for a rescue or throw the bike on the rack of a bus before trying to fix it in sub zero temps. pic source

Spare Socks
Even totally soaked footwear is usable if you have dry socks and plastic bags to put over them. Spare socks can also double as mittens in a pinch.
pic source

An Adorable Little Kitten
It is nice to travel with an adorable little kitten, but panniers or backpacks don't have the room to set up a comfy bed for it. The 2nd best tub in town does. If a motorist causes you to crash or wipe out, they may not care about you, but just watch their faces when you open the tub, carefully draw out this little darling and say, "what were you trying to do, kill my adorable little kitten?" Of course, it might be dead or injured, which will make them feel 10 times worse! Awesome.
pic source

A Big Bottle of Whiskey
If I am using the bike path, there is always the possibility that I will crash and break both my legs while landing squarely on my cell phone, smashing it to bits. If that happens, I am going to need access to a big bottle of whiskey. It will either kill the pain until help arrives or assist me in freezing to death in style. I don't like transporting glass bottles along with the kitten, so I go with a cheap whiskey in a plastic bottle. Using a lovely single malt scotch or something to kill pain is an insult to the whiskey anyway. Note: My bottle of Canadian Whiskey will not say "imported" on it. pic source

A Flare Gun
Once I have consumed the big bottle of whiskey, I will, of course, need something to shoot at the kitten with. Don't worry, I won't hit it.
pic source

Well, that's it! I hope some of you will benefit from my sharing. It is all about the journey, as they say, and I'm glad you are my travelling companions, because nobody else will talk to me for some reason.

Riding in Winter is Awesome. Try it.


PS - If you were enjoying the first half of that post, sorry it went all sideways. I was looking at what I was writing and all I could see was blah blah blah blah blah. There is a ton of good information on winter riding out there without me rambling on about what I pack in the tub. If for some reason you want my specific opinion on something, please ask and I will be happy to help if I can.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rantwick, I am taking you up on your offer to give your specific opinion. I'm just wondering why you prefer an adorable little kitten over an adorable little puppy? I myself have no preference, but I'm just wondering. Is it possibly because the kitten is less apt to eat all those batteries while a puppy would probably just chow them down? Enjoyed the post!

jeff said...

With your tub loaded, I'll borrow a saying used by some friends from Manitoba: "We wanna party with YOU guys"!!!

RANTWICK said...

PA - Given the rough treatment described in this post, I thought the 9 lives may matter.

jeff - Sounds like 'tobans all right.

Apertome said...

I am all for whiskey, but Black Velvet is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I bought it back in college a few times because it was very cheap, but ... well, I have to go now. I developed a hangover, just thinking about it.

RANTWICK said...

Apertome - When you require a big yet plastic bottle, your choices become limited to the less than ideal. Remember, too, that hangovers are irrelevant when you are likely toasting your own freezing death.

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