Monday, March 4, 2013

Ruck March and a Flat Tire

On occasion we do what's called a Ruck March for PT instead of the usual running/calisthenics/circuit training. Basically you'll load up a rucksack and walk at a brisk pace. Sometimes you'll be in formation, sometimes you'll have a weapon, sometimes the person leading the even will try to make it 'tactical' with rules like no talking (noise discipline) or periodic sprints or stops in security positions (overlapping sectors of fire). I've seen folk do it in every think from summer PT clothes (shorts and t-shirt) to full battle-rattle (Helmet, Body armor, fighting vests, etc). But in the Headquarters company, we generally go for 3 miles in about an hour, regular Army combat uniform with patrol cap, and a pack weight minimum of 35 pounds 'dry.'

25 Infantry Division soldiers on a ruck march with with weapons, MOLLE vests, and kevlar Advanced Combat Helmets.
Photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval via
As I've mentioned a time or two, I ride the motorcycle to work every day. That presents some challenges on days when events like ruck marches occur. I'm creative, but there is a limit to how much stuff I can safely strap to a motorcycle. After this past Thursday's ruck march, I found the gravel parking lot had become a bit crowded and the way I rode in was now blocked. No problemo; I just rode over the curb to get back on the road. It wasn't a big curb by any stretch, but I pinched the inner-tube on my rear tire. I didn't even notice until hours later when the tire had gone completely flat. Panic! At the end of the workday, I decided to ride about 2 miles on the flat tire to an air compressor. I've never had a blowout or had to ride on a flat before so it was pretty exciting for me, especially in turns. With enough air in to get off post, I braved the highway traffic, and found my way to Killeen Powersports for a new tube. I had to wait for a bit to squeeze into their maintenance schedule, but afterward was smooth sailing to get home. Maybe I should invest in a tube repair kit?

Odometer: 12674

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