Bike First Aid…

6 06 2013
First Aid kits...

First Aid kits…

I rarely need a first aid kit when I ride, but the odd time I have needed it [for someone else] I was glad to have it with me. I’m no good at remembering to move F/A kits between packs and bags. So I bought 4 or 5 of these small kits and I leave one in each pack or bag I use regularly. They are cheap and they’ll last a long time before needing replacement so they are a good investment.

I also have a large first aid kit in my truck.

Knowing how to do CPR is an essential skill you need to go with your first aid kit.

Travel Document Security…

12 05 2013

Scan your important documents…

Losing your important documents while traveling can be a huge problem. You can’t get on an international flight without your passport and you can’t pay for a hotel without your credit card/bank card if you don’t have cash.

Here is what I do when I am going on a major trip:

  • check that all my documents are up to date
  • check that the magnetic strips on my credit cards and bank cards are in good shape
  • renew/replace as needed
  • scan all my documents and both sides of any cards into PDF files
  • I print a copy and leave at home
  • I print another copy and leave with a friend
  • I use my Gmail account or an online drop box service to store copies of these PDFs for access on the road

This way if I lose some or all of my documents I can either look them up myself online and/or have someone at home help me get back on track.

A few more tips:

  • have at least 2 credit cards and 2 bank cards so you can lose one and still keep on traveling without a huge hassle
  • store the spare cards somewhere besides your wallet so it less likely you’ll lose both at once
  • keep enough cash on you for several days of traveling so if you lose your cards you have time to sort out how you’ll access more money
  • if you can’t lock your valuables while traveling hide them instead
  • when I am beach camping I just bury my cash and documents in the sand for security

Dakine Kiteboard Hook Knife…

5 12 2012

Dakine Hook Knife…

One of the hazards of kiteboarding is becoming entangled in your kite’s lines or another kiter’s lines during an “incident”. If the kite powers up the thin spectra lines will cut through flesh like a razor. The only way to quickly free yourself is if you can cut the lines wrapped around you. That’s where a hook knife comes in handy. The Dakine knife shown above costs $10 and is small so it can be stashed on your person for quick access in an emergency. The hook knife blade is designed to cut lines easily while keeping fleshy bits away from the blade. That’s good because in a panic situation you are likely to be flailing around like a drunk octopus!

Dakine Nitrous harness and hook knife…

The real trick is how do you carry a hook knife with you while kiteboarding so it’s easy to access, doesn’t get lost and isn’t a hassle?

Dakine spreader bar and pad with hook knife installed…

If you are using a Dakine spreader bar and pad you’ve got a built in pocket on the pad pointing down. The pocket is big enough for the hook knife and there is some velcro to mate up with the knife’s pull tab so it stays secure until you need it.

Hook knife partially pulled out of the pad…

This setup is good, but has a couple issues:

  1. The knife can fall out of the pad’s pocket in use or when being transported. That’s not tragic as it only costs $10 so the occasional replacement knife isn’t a financial burden. You can help avoid lost knives by pushing it deep into the pad’s pocket and making sure the velcro is fully engaged with the knife’s pull tab. This makes losing the knife less likely at the expense of making pulling the knife out slightly harder. To my way of thinking that’s a reasonable trade off to ensure the knife is there when you need it.
  2. The pocket under the pad  isn’t ideal for emergency access because it’s going to be underwater, the knife’s pull tab is small, you may be wearing gloves and the bar area could be tangled in kite lines.

Dakine Hook Knife and sheath…

I think the best place for the knife would be on the breast of my impact vest where I could see it and easily access it in an emergency. I don’t know of any impact vests made with a knife pocket. However, the Dakine knife comes with nylon sheath that a crafty person could sew onto their impact vest. I haven’t bothered because the pad pocket solution is good enough for me given that a line entanglement is not a frequent occurrence, but if someone made an impact vest with a knife pocket I would buy it.

Note handy side pocket…

If you ride in surf shorts most of them have a side pocket for a wax comb/wax. You can put your hook knife in here. The access isn’t quite as convenient as the Dakine pad pocket, but it’s very secure so the knife won’t get lost.

Mountain Bike First Aid…

9 11 2012

Mini-Medical Kit…

On my recent trip to Moab one of the group had a serious hand injury and was bleeding like a stuck pig. There were 4 ER doctors with us and not one had a band aid. Luckily I had a small first aid kit and they used it to stop the bleeding and dress the wound.

What’s in it…

I’ve been sporadically carrying a small first aid kit on my MTB rides, but I use two different packs and sometimes the kit gets thrown in my bikepacking frame bag and forgotten so I don’t always have it with me. To remedy that I bought a second FA kit at MEC and I’ll have one in each MTB pack I use so I don’t have to think about it.

I’lll also put the following in each pack:

  • headlamp [check the batteries once a month and recharge as needed]
  • cell phone in waterproof case
  • space blanket
  • energy bars x 2
  • ultralight windbreaker

It’s not much, but it will be useful if we have an injury on a cold dark night 30mins ride or a 2hrs hobble back to the car.

Bike Friday Tikit Stem Safety Inspection…

3 10 2012

Click to jump to the Tikit inspection protocol…

Bike Friday is advising owners that they should check their Tikit’s stem mast for cracks. You can click on the image above to jump to the web page with instructions for the required inspection protocol. You can register your Tikit at this link to ensure you receive info from Bike Friday about this issue.

Bike Friday is telling Tikit owners not to ride their bikes until the problem is fully investigated. That’s definitely the most cautious route and it makes sense for them given the potential liability costs of even one accident.

My understanding is that this problem has affected 5 bikes out of 4000 that have been made so far. Clearly a stem mast failure is serious, but it’s not common problem.

Personally I inspected my Tikit and I have no cracks so I’ll continue to ride my bike, but I’ll check the stem mast every week to ensure that no cracks start. To be clear that’s a personal risk assessment. I’m not recommending Tikit owners ride their bikes or suggesting it’s safe. If you choose to ride your Tikit you do so at your own risk.

I appreciate the head’s up from Bike Friday about this. I’m sure they’ll figure out what’s going on and resolve the issue fully for their customers. Sharon’s keen on getting a Tikit at some point and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bike from Bike Friday.

I’ve been doing stupid stuff like this on my Tikit since 2007…

I have been unofficially torture testing my Tikit by riding down stairs and jumping off curbs since 2007. My stem mast hinge is in perfect shape. Again not a recommendation that you try the same stuff with your bike, but I just wanted to put things in perspective.

Lose the helmets…

2 10 2012

Click to read the article over at the NY Times…

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet…

17 08 2012