PSA: Don't forget to bring your _____

Well, I pulled a “Nate” or mistake that many have likely done last weekend.

  • Loaded up and arrived at my event locale, only to realize I had the bike, front wheel… but no front axle (left sitting on a book shelf) :open_mouth:
  • I was fortunate enough to have a nearby bike shop that rented me an axle (for the rental price of a the bike we robbed it from :stuck_out_tongue: ). With that in hand, I was able to complete my race for a nominal fee (now knows as the Whoopsie Tax) and had an amazing day.
  • Just a friendly reminder to be careful where you stash anything you take off your bike for travel to a race or event. In my case, the axle should ALWAYS go right back into the frame or fork after removing the wheel.

All that said, what other sage advice (from mistakes) do you have to share for the benefit of others?

Adding my checklist that I had previously shared, for anyone that wants a possible way to catch those slippery things that sometimes escape us (now with “axle reminder” :stuck_out_tongue: ).


Forgot my helmet for a CX practice and had to wear the coaches daughters pink flower helmet


Cycling shoes. I did a stage race in the very early 90s, and when I got to the start of stage 1 (it was ~50 miles from where we were staying), I realized I didn’t have my cycling shoes which were gen1 Time compatible. So I scrambled to find old school toe clip pedals, and road the stage - ~50 miles from Bishop, CA to the base of the lodge in Mammoth all up hill at altitude - in tennis shoes. Needless to say, a very painful lesson


We really need a “positive” thumbs down for a topic like this :rofl: Or an “oh shit that really sucks I total commiserate” button


LOL, the “Like” is good most of the time, but sure misses the beat sometimes :stuck_out_tongue:


Left my mixed bottles at home once. :sweat_smile:


I’ve done this before and had to buy two water bottles at the event. Worse was when at one of the Haute Route SF events I left my bottles in my car, and didn’t realize till about 10 miles in. Ugh. I had to scrounge at one of the aid stations to get a bottle, so I had at least 1.

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On an overnight trip, forgot my contact lenses one time. Had a headache from squinting so much.

(couldn’t wear my glasses and sunglasses at the same time)


This happened to me at The Rift this year….forgot my shoes at the hotel. Realized it when we were getting ready to go to line-up.

Hopped in the rental van and was flying back to the hotel……was doing 160kph!

Thankfully the hotel was only 5K away and I made it with time to spare. Bullet dodged. :crazy_face:

I have (knock on wood) never flatted in a race, and I always bring spare wheels. But for exactly one race a few years back I didn’t, and I managed to somehow hit a piece of sheet metal in the road on my warmup, tearing my sidewall open and getting a loud, violent insta-flat on my rear wheel about 15 minutes before the race was to begin. I was hours from home and by myself, and loudly called out my predicament near the start line in desperation to see if anyone possibly had any extra wheels/tires they’d lend me. Low and behold, a gentleman lent me a tire from his junior daughter (who’d just finished racing)'s bike. In about 3 minutes I frantically removed the tire (it was a gatorskin… smh, but I was thankful for anything) and remounted it on my bike, with seconds to spare for the start. I don’t remember how I did at that race but I am forever thankful to that anonymous rider from Jacksonville, FL’s Velobrew racing team. Lesson: don’t only bring spare tubes, bring tires or wheels.


I ended up buying a couple of extra axles and now keep one in my small bike repair kit that goes with me every time I take the bike somewhere.

A couple of months ago I drove halfway across the country to visit my brother and brought the bike with me since there’s some good trails near him. When I took my bike off the car upon arrival at his house I left my axle on top of the car. I realized this two days later when I tried to put the bike back on the car to take it riding. I found the axle on the side of the highway right outside his neigbhorhood, but it looked like it had been runover by a bulldozer. To make matters even worse, this was on a Saturday and I was supposed to drive back home on Sunday. Carrying my bike via Seasucker is pretty difficult without an axle.

Apparently bike shops basically don’t carry thru axles in stock and no amount of begging and offering obscene amounts of money would convince either of the two bikes shops in town to sell me an axle out of one of their bikes on the floor.

I ended up getting the bike home with a 1/2" x 6" bolt and a nut, but I missed out on riding completely.


Also forgot my helmet; though for a road race. I got very lucky and I had a teammate racing in a field later in the day so I managed to borrow one.

Earlier this year I forgot to swap tubes in my flat kit. Didn’t notice until I was on the side of the road with a spare tube with much to short of a valve. Whoops.

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Second story from me- a friend and I drove about 3h to a well-known yearly group ride (the 115 mile-long Battle of Olustee in Florida) which while not an official race is a highly competitive informal season opener for riders in the area. Anyway, my buddy had a new SystemSix with super deep wheels, and we realized that neither of us had valve extensions or spare tubes with sufficiently-long stems. He told me that it was his oversight, and if he were to flat, just leave him behind. And low and behold, 15 miles into the ride, my friend flatted, and as we’d agreed I did not wait. I finished the ride, got back to the car (his car, to add insult to injury), and drove out and picked him up, right where he’d been sitting on a picnic table watching YouTube videos in the middle of nowhere for 6 hours. Lesson Learned: Bring tubes that fit your wheels, especially when riding 115 miles, 3 hours from home.


ha! I’ve had a buddy do this before. I actually carried a Maxle around me for years hoping that one day, I could save someone’s ride. Alas, it never lined up. Maybe I should find another spare? :wink:


How do you guys transport your bikes? Does the axle not go back in obviously?

I normally toss the complete bike in the rear of my Outback, or on the rack outside. So I never have had an axle problem with those choices.

I wanted the bike inside for this longer trip, but my wife was coming which meant we had plenty of bags to pack. So, off came the front wheel to “test fit” everything. I wasn’t sure I would get it all to fit and was expecting to have to pull the bike out and back together to put on the rack outside. I left the axle on the shelf because of that… was surprised it all fit and went about my final prep while forgetting I had left the axle as a “maybe” scenario.

As I am a major creature of habit (OCD), I did something different and got burned since I was also running through so many other things in my head getting ready to travel. Silly mistake from a new process.

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Doh :man_facepalming:.

All good, I wasn’t trying to jab. Genuinely curious. I always put the axle back in (now that I’m using TA) to provide some protection against the fork or stays being pressed together :crossed_fingers:.

I’ve never had one of those roof rack type ones that the fork mounts too, I half pie wondered if they have their own axle :man_shrugging:

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A few months back I took an hour of PTO at the end of my workday, drove 45mins to my fav spot so I could ride a bit extra before sunset and realized that I forgot my shoes when I got there! Had to do a ride in the garage instead :man_facepalming:

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No jab taken. I am happy to share the full detail of my mistake and hope it keeps someone else from the same panic. :smiley:

  • That’s my typical process too (axle back in the frame/fork). I even have “dummy hubs” made from a piece of PVC that I use to clamp it in place when the wheels are out, to fully support the frame and forks and prevent any change of them smashing together.

As far as the rack, I have the rear tray style Kuat, so the full bike goes on. For any that are fork mount, you do have full support and can use the stock axle in some cases. But some use a custom, locking axle instead of the stock one, so you have the same risk of loss or forgetting it when it’s out.

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That sounds ideal!

I only really transport my bike “broken down” on an airplane these days. It’s definitely one of my major fears to get somewhere for my one A Race and realise I’ve left some critical piece.

I only have the old prong style bike rack and will avoid putting my bike near a rack at all costs after my mate accidentally scratched the forks of my old bike on a very short drive to the trail head. I bought a people mover van primarily so I can put my bike straight into the back if I do need to transport locally or for future family road trips.

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