Bicycle Travel > General Discussion

Tales of Calamity and Woe

<< < (3/3)

Like the venerable Tsteven, I've broken just about every part of the bike at sometime, but I once stranded myself in a remarkably efficient manner.  I was riding a bike with sew-up tires, with a spare tied under the seat with a toe strap.  The tire fell out, jammed between the rear tire and frame and locked up the wheel.  The tire skidded, burned through and exploded.  The spare was also burned through.  Two expensive tires trashed, thumb out for a ride home.

Mine is not equipment failure. I did a 4,500 mile tour in France, Germany, Czech, Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and the east coast of the USA in 1994. A war of genocide was still raging between the Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in the former Yugoslavia.

One afternoon I had to lie flat on the ground as mortar fire, automatic weapons, artillery, grenades, and mines blasted all to hell. I could smell the spent gunpowder and the burning metal from the shells, but not once did I see a soldier anywhere. The bombardment slowly petered out after about 35 minutes. The ending was punctuated with the extremely loud sound of a creaky, very squeaky, old train rattling its way over antique tracks, and blowing a loud, old fashioned, steam whistle. It was scary as hell. It was about 5 or 6 miles west of Bojanow, Poland on August 31, 1994.

Ah, the calamities...

My worst was just this past July.  Rolling through the Ozarks (MO) early morning in an effort to beat the POUNDING heat that was summer 2012, I got a little out of sort and control - and went down a grass embankment, oh, and into a cement drainage ditch...  ha....  not terribly funny at the time, as I was left with a broken front wheel and two-cracked ribs (plus some pride issues...) 

Trans Am tour ended right there.  But, was my first (road bike) crash in 15,000+ miles of touring, so not too bad.  The people of MO flat out rock, especially the two random guys in a mini van that wheeled me into the next town.

There's always the 2013 season.... :)

Had a threadless stem slip and dumped myself and stoker on the ground; she took the brunt of it with bruises and abrasions, but it wasn't a tour ender.  Though the stem had an unusual clamping system, that's no excuse; I had failed to check it recently, and I am suitably humbled by it.  The other one was a spill on a wet unpaved trail, this time I took the brunt but we were able to continue.  We now avoid any unpaved riding in the rain.


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version