Derailleur Fail

I had high hopes of pulling off a 70 mile ride today. (from home to Big Rapids and back) I needed a long distance ride to prepare for the N24HC. I even skipped church to pull it off.

About 10 miles in on the ride, I was just thinking to myself, I felt great and it was a perfect day. Slightly breezy, overcast. I was feeling good, all the right preparations and nutrition on board. Had even packed a small lunch. The gravel portion of the trail was surprisingly firm for it having rained just hours ago. Seemed fast even.

One mile later, this happened....

See anything wrong with the derailleur location? Yep, you could say it's either missing from the appropriate location, or else its some sort of new experimental shifter that is mounter AFTER the cassette. Not sure what happened, I didn't hit any sticks or anything, but the derailleur hanger snapped, causing a cascade of bad noises and a skidding tire for about 20 feet. (I was cruising along at around 15-16mph).

All I could do at this point was chuckle in disbelief. Okay, so now what? My ride is clearly over. The derailleur was destroyed, no saving it - cable shredded from the housing. A few spokes are pulled and bent, rim out of true. I guess I could try and create some kind of single speed system out of it to get myself home.

I know! I will use my compact Park chain tool that I've been carrying with me for 3 years and never got to use. I love it when I'm prepared!! You can't beat me, stupid random freak mechanical accident. Upon mounting the chain in the tool, I turned the handle two times and.....


Oh wow, that was easy, but wait, the tool is in two separate pieces now, chain still intact. Everything falls out of my hands. Tool, completly broken, useless. Not even good for one g*d damned use. Three years of being prepared...for nothing.

Okay, I guess my back-up to my tools should have been a pair of running shoes. Dammit. Gathered up all my crap and started walking. Then I got the idea of lowering my seat all the way and riding it like one of those kids strider bikes - scooter-style. At least I was traveling at 6mph now instead of 2mph walking, but it hurt my a$$ so much I had to keep taking breaks. (I spent some amount of time trying to figure out I was going to record video of this because I felt like such an idiot performing the act.)

My wife was at church, with a special event to prepare for the Junior Youth Group, so I was fine with just walking or hitch hiking home. When I told her I was just going to hitch hike, she jumped out of the pews and headed out to pick me up. I have faith in the common man in helping another out, apparently she doesn't. ha She trusts me to ride my bike 35 miles from home on a relatively untraveled rail trail, but as soon as I want to hitch hike, I'm going to end up abducted and murdered.

So, in thinking about all the money I get to spend now (grrr!), and an scathing e-mail I need to draft to Park Tool, to celebrate my AWESOME morning I had a deuce-deuce of Fat Tire and some homemade Taco Dip. What the hell, right? Guess I will have to take a day off from work this week in order to get a long ride in.

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