Thankfully we have an excellent reliability record at AdventureRide. I like to think this is a combination of careful maintenance coupled with the Pampera’s inherent ruggedness – bear in mind the Pamperas get ridden by a wide range of riders from novices to experts and lead a pretty hard life. They get crashed and bashed and generally get knocked about. Despite this the bikes take it in their stride and just keep going
By way of contrast when the Ossa was on the fleet I used to leave the van on permanent standby with a spare bike in it in order to deal with whatever problem the Explorer might throw at me . At one stage I even gave a key for the van to a retired friend who offered to act as an emergency call-out should I find myself on some remote trail with a dead Ossa. I recall the van being deployed on four of the seventeen occasions I rode the bike. In fact,I ever since the Explorer err….retired itself from active service 10 months ago [more news about that little fiasco in the not too distant future] the fleet Pamperas have enjoyed a 100% reliability record. It was therefore a bit of a surprise to be out on a ride yesterday and find myself dealing with a serious show-stopping breakdown – I should point out at this stage the three customers were all highly experienced riders had all brought along their own bikes, two Honda XRs and Suzuki DRZ. All three bikes were well- prepped and fit for purpose but one of the Hondas, having behaved impeccably all day, threw a wobbler on the return leg of the trip. The problem appeared to be a dropped valve or a slipped cam chain or similar. Whatever it was, it was beyond the scope of a trail side repair and we had to work out how to get the bike and rider home from a remote sector of the England / Wales border.
If you look at the bag attached to the front of Jason’s XR you will see it’s a common or garden enduro-style bum bag. Or is it? I’m not so sure … Mary Poppins sprung to mind as Jason’s bag spewed forth a baffling array of cables, levers, hydraulic lines , tools , nuts bolts and spares for just about every conceivable problem which might be encountered on a trail. Sadly, none of which could deal with a dropped valve and then, just as I was contemplating the logistical nightmare of rescuing a dead bike from the middle of nowhere Jason held aloft….wait for it…. a tow rope! I could have kissed him. I thought I was a bit OTT about carrying spares and tools for every occasion but clearly Jason has taken it to a whole new level. This is a man you need by your side when going trail riding.
Now,towing a bike with another bike can be tricky unless both tower and towee know their onions. No worries on this score. Within a few minutes we were under way with Tony confidently towing Jason back to civilisation and his bike trailer. I’m not saying there weren’t a few hairy moments on the way home but one way or another we all got home safely.
Which brings me to the point of this post, just how much kit should you take on a trail ride? Well here’s my starter for ten;
1] Tow rope. Light, cheap and versatile. It’s just gone to the top of my list.
2] Tyre levers
3] Front tube [which can also be used as a rear in an emergency]
4] Tube repair kit, in case the unthinkable happens and you puncture the spare tube. You wouldn’t be the first…
5] All the spanners necessary for front and rear wheel removal- and don’t forget the spanners/allen keys for the front axle pinch nuts and the caliper bolts.
6] Gaffer tape and tie wraps. You’d be amazed what can be patched up with these two simple constituents
7] Good quality mountain bike pump. Forget fancy Co2 cannisters and such like, go analogue, a pump will always get you home.
8] Spare clutch and brake levers
9] Spare throttle cable[s] and clutch cable if it’s non hydraulic
10]Two litres of fuel.
11]Spare split link
There’s always more of course but this little lot will do for starters. Happy riding!