…that the list of possible answers to the question “what could go wrong?” is extremely long. Name a mistake, I’ve probably made it. If it was fun, I’ve done it lots. But I do try to learn from the more serious ones.
And one of the more serious life lessons old one-legged Uncle Joel has learned from his mistake-ridden life is this: Not only must you take precautions not to stupidly strand yourself too far out in the boonies to walk back, you must know that you know how to use those precautions.
Training! It isn’t just for Tactical Timmies anymore. As a side benefit you not only learn how to use emergency gadgets but you also ensure that said gadgets work in the first place.
Point currently in discussion: I want to take the new electric bicycle farther afield. Probably to town at some point, but the truth is I’ll probably cheat and trailer it to the county road. From there the total round trip actually pedaled will be less than 10 miles. But there are also neighbors more distant than D&L where I occasionally do paying gigs, easily within the bike battery’s range but gotten to entirely on rough dirt roads with cactus and sharp rocks and lots of nice thorn bushes. Honestly that trip sounds like a lot of fun and I’ve wanted to do it for several days while the weather’s still dry, but it would be stupid to do so unless I not only have the equipment I need to repair and re-inflate tires but know that I know how to use it.
Big Brother sent me a gadget I didn’t even know existed…
…and I was damned if I could figure out how to use it. Couldn’t be that difficult, right? Two threaded fittings and a dial. But I only had one gas cylinder and didn’t want to expend it until I had spares. One fitting seemed to go with the cylinder well enough but I couldn’t figure out how the other one went on the tube.
Using my spare tube, I finally concluded that it didn’t fit. There didn’t seem any way to make it fit. Conspired with Big Brother, who agreed: There are two kinds of tire valve (I did not know this) and the device is for the other size. It’s the wrong gadget. Nifty, compact and efficient, but it won’t work at all.
Point is: The time to learn that was in Ian’s cool cave with a beer on the table, not kneeling on rocks in the hot sun ten miles from home. Old man not so dumb.