My wife and I share the grocery shopping duties, and each of us produces a very different result. She makes a list. She sticks to the list, and we eat what she buys. She likes to run out of things. Her shopping habits hint at the root level competence and efficiency that are hallmarks of her personality.
I prefer to express myself a bit with the grocery cart. I go off list, if I have a list at all. I have ideas, and I indulge them. I don’t like to run out of things. I like when the cabinets are full. It makes me feel like I have options, even if those options are strange and erratic, like my thoughts.
I was laying in a shelf full of pasta in various shapes the other day when I began thinking about the concept of the pantry, that permanent collection of foodstuffs that serves as the basis for your everyday cooking. We always have kosher salt, whole black peppercorns, all-purpose and bread flours, sugar, honey, olive oil, canola, sesame oil, vanilla extract, etc., etc.
I also have a bike pantry. There are 6 road tubes (23-25mm), 6 CX tubes (28-35mm), 4 650b tubes, 1 case of CO2 cartridges, 2 patchkits, 6 tire levers (various), T9 lube, Pedro’s Citrus Degreaser, Park Chainbrite, Pedro’s Chain Wax, 1 spool Lizard Skins DSP bar tape – black, 1 SRAM 11spd chain, 2 complete sets disc brake pads, 1 bottle of brake fluid, one tin of 3-in-1 oil, etc., etc.
I am behind on my Shimano specific supplies. I need some Stan’s sealant. I could use a few sets of replacement rim brake pads and a fresh set of cables (or two). At minimum, I like to have the stuff on hand to completely refresh a road bike and a mountain bike, when the mood or necessity arises. This seems reasonable to me, just like it used to make sense to keep motor oil, coolant, etc. on hand in the pre-Jiffy Lube era. It’s less expensive to maintain bikes than cars, but there is still a cost to it, and neglecting either one has its consequences.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what’s in your bike pantry? Would you say you’re over or under prepared? Do you eschew all this and just let your LBS take care of basic parts and maintenance? How and how often do you refresh your pantry? Do you buy the little necessities at your LBS or on-line?