Monday, 30 November 2015

Munga Equipment Choices - Part 3

I will be riding without a back pack. Reasons for that are covered in a previous post — "Riding in the heat". Stuff that normally resides in a back pack needs to be redistributed.

The rules state that each rider must have the ability to carry at least 1.5 litres of water. The suggestion from the race office is to carry 3 litres. That's 3 kg's. Weight weenies are going to need therapy. It's going to get hot and it's going to get windy. To set off into the wind to cover 70 km's to the next water point in the heat with just 2 bottles won't be clever. I rode in 37 degrees Celsius from Durban to Johannesburg 5 weeks ago. I was going through more than 1 litre of water an hour at one stage. 70 km's with a headwind wind could take at least 4 hours. Hydration is key. I have capacity for 2.2 litres on the bike can stuff additional bottles into the saddle pack or back pocket if required.

What else is in the saddle pack? Normal spares; inflator cartridges and inflator, tyre patch kit, inner tube, spare shifter cable, spare derailleur jockey wheel, a few quick links and short piece of chain, a small selection of bolts, a small bottle of tyre sealant. Duct tape and a few cable ties. The last are mandatory. Not race office mandatory. Life mandatory. As the saying goes, with duct tape and cable ties you can fix anything. My best fix over the last few years is a Hope freehub repair where I used cable ties to fabricate pawl springs. The repair held up for hundreds of kilometres.

Additional clothing layers; wind shell, leg warmers, long finger gloves and a base layer. Probably not necessary apart from the wind shell but if rain is forecast they might stay in the pack.

Basic medical supplies including rehydrating solution, strapping plaster and stretch bandage. Also have the race-office-mandatory space blanket.

The top tube bags take odds and ends like chain lube, sunblock, multi tool, snacks, water bottle fizzy tabs, chamois cream and my phone. All fairly lightweight.

Those are standard for most endurance riders and it's what I would normally carry in an unsupported endurance event.

But is it really "Unsupported". We will examine that in the next post — Is the Munga really the toughest race on Earth?

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