Very light turnout for the Canal ride, due to falling on the 3rd, electricity issues for some so about 27 cyclists. Euro Patrick on the right. Note the arm sleeves. I've been doing some research on these and it appears they are the real deal, providing protection from the sun. Patrick recommends them so I ordered a pair to try.
Beth on the right. Seems she is a C group Reaper. We passed her a couple of weeks ago going out Waterloo and she was putting the hammer on the C's. Time to move up girl!
The line-up tonight was not what you'd call formidable. Glancing around the parking lot, there were only 3 obvious A's, Patrick, Steve O and Young Phenom Nick, with a beard that is growing fractionally each week. So, the A group was called out and they plus the marginal players jumped in so maybe 12-15 rolled out as a hybrid group. Patrick soft pedaled away at the outskirts of town, Steve joined in followed by Nick and so it was down to Kevin H, Mitch O, Ryan R, Brian, Andrew C, Jeff S, new guy, Eric the Columbus Dispatch photographer, David S and a few others.
Going south on Slittery, Eric had a flat. I asked of no one in particular if we should stop and Mitch said no, the policy was changed and we no longer should wait for flat fixers, so we kept going. Going east on Westfall, Mitch had a flat and so while Jeff and Ryan stopped, those still in the group.....
Brian, Andrew, new guy and I kept going and pulled into the gas station to refuel. These three decided to go the long route, shoved off and I decided to sit around and wait for the others. Yep, my summer swoon, happens every year, has kicked in again with a vengeance of unmotivation to ride. Soon, the others arrived, they too decided to go the long route and I took the B route via Delmont. Half way out Westfall, my chain came off, I tried to throw it onto the large chainring in front to put the chain back on, met some resistance, which was the chain tearing the chain guard off the frame, met more resistance which was the chain guard going through the derailleur and then met no resistance at all. Uh oh.
I've thought that I've been very fortunate with mechanicals, probably benefiting from having quality components on my bikes but my luck ran out. Patrick and Steve stopped and a big thanks to Patrick for guiding me through shortening the chain to turn the bike into a single speed, while also removing the appropriate components. What a great guy! It just so happened, Aaron, who lives on Amanda Northern and was out on a solo ride, stopped too and offered to go get his vehicle and come pick me up. What a great guy! Patrick and I got my bike in ridable condition and took off. He was riding with me but I urged him to go on, telling him Mitch and those guys would come by soon and they would not abandon me, so Patrick took off.
Once I got on Amanda Northern, Mitch and those guys approached, passed, there was some laughter and they kept going. In fairness, how were they to know I was having a problem. I mean, that motley crew pass me like I'm standing still, all the time, well no, not really. With a ridable bike I was ok but the chain was jumping around on 3-4 different cogs and once lodged between two cogs, forcing me to remove my back wheel to dislodge. About the time I began wondering if I was going to get back before dark, Aaron came by, picked me up and deposited me in Canal.
So, my bike has been fixed but it is only temporary. Part of the frame did break when the derailleur snapped off. I've heard Trek continues to have bottom bracket issues on their new frames so reluctantly, I'm going to have to quit that bike brand and try something new. Let's see, I see a lot of Massi frames but most of the people who ride those are notorious short cutters and I don't want to take the chance the frame is contributing. Rick Miller sells BH frames, so maybe that's a good option. Of course, at my level, it's not like the frame makes a bunch of a diff anyway so maybe a Huffy is in order.
It's a cruel world out there save for two outstanding individuals. More to come and ahhhh, Rick Miller, check your voice messages.
Tuesday's route is quite a lot hillier than last Tuesday with the McDonald climb and Hopewell Church in there. Long route is 49 miles, I forget the middle and short route distances but they'll be on the map that you receive at the parking lot. Ohhh, the B route has the climb on Delmont, ouch. See you out there.