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Single Speed, By Accident January 31, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking.
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My knees ache.   They have too many years of wear and tear to ride a Single Speed bike.  I found this out the hard way.

Yesterday Ken, Michael, Keith, Shawn, Hal and I met up for a mountain bike ride up into “The Pines”.

The first time that I really pushed hard, my chain (more on the chain later) came apart and jammed into my rear derailleur, breaking it off the hanger and sending it up and around the cog set and into the spokes.  Luckily, I stopped before it broke any of the spokes.

This all happened less than 1 mile into what we had hoped to be a 10-12 mile ride.  Now I had a dilemma, pick up my bike and walk back to the truck and drive home, depressed and saddened by not being able to ride, OR try to make it work and keep riding….

Michael helped me take off the twisted derailleur and shorten the chain enough to turn my once 27 speed steed into a single speed bike.

Jury Rigged SS

So the 6 of us continued our climb into woods, me on a 34 x 20 SS.  Somewhere right after that, Keith got separated from us and after waiting, then going back and looking for him, we determined that he must have headed home.  After a couple of more miles, Ken needed to peel off and head home too, so now it was just Michael, Shawn Hal, and me.  We climbed up Bobsled, went through the tunnel and on up to Topside. We took Topside to Tatonka, and down Jawbone to the 332 and on down to the fireplace.  It became apparent to me in fairly short order that I would never make the ride we had planned, so we shortened up on my account and headed back down the Fireplace Trail, crossing the icy waters of the creek several times.  After skirting the east side of Emanuel Pines, we headed back into The Pines for one more little loop, and after riding 6.5 miles called it quits for the day.

Now, back to my chain.  Last week while riding, I got a bad case of chain-suck, and my chain got a twisted link.  So Friday afternoon I took it to one of our local bike shops for another chain.  While I was there, the tech said that my chain was long enough that he could just take out he offending link and all would be good.  15 minutes and $16 later, I left with my bike.  Well, I don’t think that it was coincidence that my chain blew apart the very next time I rode my bike….and now, not only will I have to buy a new chain as I had intended to do on Friday, but now I will have to buy a new rear derailleur as well!

Oh well, the worst day riding is better than a lot of other days!