I have a several general rules that I follow when I’m riding trail. One of them (and the topic today) is that I stop to pick up any small parts that I see on the ground. Even if they are fairly beat or weathered. I do that.
The logic is simple. If that part fell off of someone’s bike while they were riding it or when they crashed. Then that’s a part that will be missing at some point when I’m working on a bike. Simple. That missing part is on the ground somewhere. Pick it up.
This happened this week in a way that perfectly encapsulates this practice.
Windy and I were on a bike ride between rain storms and before her trip to Laos and Thailand. We needed some good time together. Heading up to Tam on Deer Park Fire Road, I see a part cemented into the dirt. It was a SRAM DUB crank cap. I intterupt my suffering and reach down to break it free from the ground. It was full of filth but otherwise, fairly usable. I put it in my pocket.
At the top of the section where Windy is waiting for me, I (once again) explain why I do what I do. That part, I may one day need.
This morning, not 4 days later, I’m working on my Millenium Falcon. I glance at the crank while lubing the chain. It’s gone. The part that I picked up on some random trail just days before was missing from my bike! Could this be the same one that fell weeks early (I assume) or an entirely different one? We will never know.
I made sure to use that cap on my bike and ensure that it wouldn’t come out again, 10mm allen and 242.