The Black Goo
We’ve all been there boys. Taking a big suck on your hydro pack hose, spitting the horrible tasting black liquid out through the chin guard of your helmet all over your jersey and looking like you have been hit in the face with the shit bat. These are some tips for killing hydration pack mold.
Everyone has forgotten to take their hydro pack out and clean it once or twice before and experienced the dreaded black sludge that flourishes on the inside of your water bladder. Depending on what fluid you had in there seems to determine just how much mold grows.
On a recent dirt bike trip to Tasmania with the Tenere Tragics, Yamaha and mono enthusiast Anthony Parisotto found that he was culturing some new life forms in his camelbak. The problem was he didn’t realise until a few days in to the ride.
Kill it with (chemical) fire. After you have popped your pack open and scrubbed the majority of the black goo off the inside of the bag, you need something to kill the growth and stop it coming back.
Chlorine tablets come in a few different forms. I use the Milford baby bottle sanitiser tablets because I have a horde of little kids running around. Camelbak also make their own. Just pop a couple of tabs into your pack and fill it with water.
Don’t forget to squeeze some water through the drink tube and mouthpiece to kill any nasties in there as well. Pipe cleaners are good for fishing around too. Then lay it down overnight and hopefully by morning you have killed the mold and fungus spores. Also don’t forget to give it a thorough rinse before refilling it. Nobody wants to drink pool water all day.
Prevention is better than cure.
One of the real keys to killing hydration pack mold is to not get it in the first place. Fill it up with Recuper8 and throw it in the Westinghouse when you get home. Having a frozen hydropack inhibits mold growth and ensures your pack is ready to go for the next ride. I take mine out of the freezer the night before a ride to start the defrosting process. The benefits are a nice cool pack when you start riding, no scrubbing or the worst problem – sucking down the dreaded black goo and feeling like you need to blow chunks all day out on the trails.