As is often said: to win it, you need to be in it. This can be applied to a lot of things but competition is paramount. For me, this means bike racing. Sometimes, I can't give my all during a race. Occasioanlly this is due to mechanical issues. During the last 5 races I have had (quick tot up) 9 punctures. Not a good average.
I was reading a blog belonging to a guy who has quite an impressive palmares. He has suffered numerous punctures over his last few races too. Dicky's minimal packing (amongst others) inspired me to drop the over-size pack and try to take a sensibly small set of tools, tubes and additional bunkum.
If you examine my recent experiences in the cold light of day, I dont think I have *particularly* suffered for carrying less kit. However, at the SSWC in Hellas, Stockholm, if I had carried the previous belt-and-braces CO2 and pump, as well as the old-me-2+ tubes, I would have been back in the game that bit sooner.
Does it make a *real* difference? Probably not: I'm unlikley to win after all. Does it bug me? Oh yes!.
I think the take home message is: consider this year another 'work in progress'. Every year (despite advancing age) I seem to do slightly better at the races. Mostly due to increased self-awareness in terms of preparation (fitness, food and fluid all playing their parts) and improved balance in the belt and braces equation.
Also I'd like to say a big G'day to Duncan, the real top fixed rider at SSWC (you there? hmmph, he's prolly off enjoying the Melbourne spring) for stopping to give me his pump before masterfully pedaling off into the distance.
pic lifted from Happy mtb forum poster.