What does Team Wideopenmag mechanic Chaz Curry pack in his Camelbak on race day?
As a mechanic for a downhill mountain bike team you don’t just fix bikes. A big part of your job is taking your riders to the start line and making sure they actually start the race on time, warmed up and ready to go fast. That usually means taking enough kit up the hill to make a Sherpa wince!
We’re lucky enough to have team sponsorship from Camelbak who hooked me up with an awesome Camelbak Hawg pack. Alongside being great for shredding the trails … it’s also an essential item for transporting all those must-have items to the start line. Over the years I’ve gradually built up a bit of a collection of items that have all earned their place in my pack and all saved either my or a riders ass at some point! Here’s a few of the highlights.
What am I carrying it all in?
I use the Camelbak Hawg to carry kit up the hill. It’s CB’s largest pack and carries 14L of kit and is covered in straps to attach turbo-trainers, spare tyres and other essentials like a helmet. Why does a mechanic need a helmet? Try riding the turbo-trainer bike back down the hill with its slick tire and you’ll know! It also has loads of pockets to organise tools and kit, a rain cover to keep everything dry. And, its super comfy.
What’s the most useful item?
It’s the Unior bit driver set. Modern mountain bikes come with a plethora of different sized and format nuts and bolts. This bit set means I have every size of Allen Key and Torx key I could possibly need to hand. Plus by being a screwdriver handle it means you won’t over tighten bolts or strip threads right at the wrong moment.
That’s my 15 year old Spokey spoke key. (See Wideopenmag issue 20 for more on that!)
The most unusual item?
That’s the Tiger Balm. It’s a great decongestant, great for sore muscles, great for injuries, all natural, what’s not to love? Just don’t rub your eyes after you’ve used it… Like one idiot did. Guess who?
Item I thought I’d never need?
That’s the Unior Pedal spanner. Honestly, I never thought I’d need this. If your pedal has been smashed that badly on the uplift then chances are there is precious little anyone or anything at the top of the hill is going to be able to sort it in time for race runs. So taking a pedal spanner up for race runs seems a bit like tempting fate. That was until I ended up at the start line with Jay Williamson who noticed his pedal had come loose. Lord only knows how, but it had. Being able to do that sucker up good and proper solved the issue right there and then and put Jays mind at rest that it wouldn’t come loose again during his race run.
Item I hope I never need
Face Shield. If I am using one of these then we are in some pretty deep shit. Downhill Mountain Biking is chuffing dangerous and it feels like if you’re on the hill you should be prepared to help out with first aid.
Most optimistic item?
My Fox sunglasses! Man alive, I love these glasses. Do I need them 99% of the time at a typical British Downhill Series race ? Nope! But Camelback put a ‘special’ pocket on the bag for them and you can always dream can’t you?