There a gremlins out in them ‘thar hills.
By Stephen Haynes
A few weeks back my riding buddies and I got together at our regular trails to do a little early spring riding. It was just cold enough to still be considered cold, but not cold enough to consider doing something else.
The ride started off well enough; a few miles of rail-trail to the trailhead, climbing through the first portion of technical switchback, on into rock gardens and technical singletrack, more climbing, more singletrack, rinse, wash, repeat. Fantastic! Feeling spring in the air with each successive pedal stroke.
Then, about an hour into our ride, I broke my chain…
I had a chain tool and wasn’t in any major hurry to get anywhere, so no biggie. Cut out the offending link, lose a gear or two, be on our way. Continued humming along for another 20 minutes or so until, on a downhill section, my rear derailleur sheared off and lodged in my spokes…
Ok… This time, remove the rear derailleur (that’s not only destroyed, but has also tweaked a large section of my chain), cut out the offending section of chain, lose all but one gear that I might hobble back to the parking lot.
True to form, my friends offer both consolation and jibes at my expense in equal parts while I try, more or less fruitlessly, to get my bike ride-able again.
Wincing with every up hill section that put any undo strain on my questionable chain and rear wheel, I manage to guide my bike back down to the rail-trail whereupon my chain broke for the second time…
Laughing at the hilarity in my misfortune and feeling generous, my riding buddies decided to take turns towing me (and my 220 pounds) the four or so miles back to the parking lot.