Staying Alive: Adventure Cycling’s New Edible Survival Accessories
Social cycling has taken an adventurous turn in recent years, mostly due to the realisation that risking your epidermis in crash-prone bunches on roads laden with broken glass and tacks whilst being verbally abused by bogans in powerful cars is no longer as thrilling as it once was. As the popularity of mountain, cyclo-cross and gravel bikes continue to rise, many group rides are heading off the sealed road in to once-unchartered territory. While fun, these expeditions off the beaten track mean a survival element now needs to be incorporated. Canadian National Marathon MTB champion Cory Wallace — real-life modern-day mountain man — takes survival very seriously on his back country mountain bike rides.
But these sorts of survival add-ons are not for everyone. If you’ve recently shelled out eight grand on a 7kg carbon cross bike with hydraulic disc brakes then you’ll probably baulk at the idea of strapping 6.5kg of chainsaw on the back — the ever reliable Husky 357 comes in at around 5.5kg plus the weight of the 20” bar and cutting equipment. Even for social rides you’d prefer not to negate all those weight savings painstakingly accrued with upgrades like titanium bidon bolts and featherweight aluminium jockey wheels.
Thankfully there are plenty of other cleverly designed survival tools that can be integrated without such a negative impact on your bike’s performance.
But these types of accessories are only really useful for repairing a damaged bike, hopefully negating the need to construct a temporary shelter for refuge from the elements, wild animals, or outdoor trance party-goers. In the event that you do become stranded, they will in no way help to keep you alive while you wait for the search party to arrive — unless you can somehow manage to convince the ravers to provide food in exchange for a few CO₂ canisters cleverly disguised as nitrous oxide bulbs.
Just keep in mind that mistakenly inhaling CO₂ (instead of N₂O) will not provide the ravers with any pleasant auditory hallucinations and may actually kill them. I imagine that most cyclists could do without the burden of guilt that inevitably follows accidentally murdering bush doofers as a survival tactic on an adventure ride gone wrong. While the ends might appear to justify the means at the time, you will come to regret this decision when a guilty conscience takes over at the peak of your next acid trip, sending you in to dark and terrifying hallucinatory netherworld where you will be forced to sit judgment before a demonic Frank Vandenbroucke.
Posing as the head of the penal committee at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the always-ruthless and unforgiving Vandenbroucke will condemn your actions before sentencing you to an eternity of gravel rash wound cleaning with a stiff-bristled wire brush by an enraged Bernard Hinault — highly strung after a stint clearing Tour de France podiums of unwanted scum.
This would undoubtedly be a rather unfortunate consequence of the otherwise quite pleasurable experience of adventure cycling. So here are a few innovative new survival products from TPC Components that should help keep you alive in the event of a mishap.
Popcorn Protection Helmet
Lightweight crash protection with the unbeatable cushioning properties of heat-expanded corn kernels. Available in plain, salted or buttered with an aerodynamic fully-glazed caramel-corn version also available for those looking to shave a few seconds off their Strava PRs.
Liquorice Energy Tyres
If you become stranded on an adventure bike ride, there’s no point having tyres that you can’t eat. These liquorice tyres should provide you with enough of a calorific top-up to see you through 2–3 days of waiting for your search party to arrive. Tyres will be available in 2.2” width for both 29” and 650b tubeless mountain bike wheels, while the CX version will be available in 35mm for both clincher and tubular.
Spaghetti Survival Spokes
High tensile standard J-bend spokes available in traditional semolina and gluten-free. Just add boiling water from the included thermos-bidon, cook until al dente and enjoy the spoils of a truly Italian cycling experience that might make you actually want to end up stranded. Sauce options are presently limited to currently available gel flavours including Berry, Grape, Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Espresso. Hopefully one of the forward thinking sports nutrition companies will offer a Carbonara or Bolognese option soon.
Pizza Slice Wheel Segments
As an added option, all Spaghetti Survival Spokes will be compatible with Pizza Slice Wheel Segments for further enhanced Italian dining options.
Gourmet Flavours From Around The World
Many boutique bicycle enthusiasts baulk at the prospect of building a classic Italian frame with Shimano componentry — as the old saying goes, ‘You can’t put sushi on a pizza.’ Thankfully this line of reasoning can now be formally disregarded. With TPC Components edible survival range you will be able to literally put sushi on a pizza with a range of eight different Norimaki Handroll–based Hub Shells and the optional Pizza Slice Wheel Segments.
One obvious downside to this range of products is that many of them are perishable. In fact, apart from the Popcorn Helmet, dried Spaghetti Survival Spokes and Liquorice Energy Tyres, you’ll probably need to refrigerate the other components prior to your ride. But even still, at the current levels of planned obsolescence so rife within the cycling industry, they may still have a longer shelf life than many other components.
While they may not be practical for everyone, it is hoped that TPC Components range of Edible Survival Accessories might eventually put an end to one of the most awkward situations in adventure cycling — having to decide which one of your mates to eat when disaster strikes. And that has got to be great news!