The pack is traveling down a straightaway and I'm drafting the rider in front of me. He decides to soft pedal which causes me to overlap tires for a brief second. No problem. I don't need to touch the brakes as we're going straight--soft pedaling and letting the wind slow me down should be sufficient. However, things got hairy real quick.
He veers to the left unexpectedly which causes his rear and my front wheel to overlap by a tire's width. Tires scrub, my left leg unclips and I am now surfing on my top tube with a rider directly on my right and another on my left hoping I don't fall. A rider behind me doesn't slow in time and rams me from behind taking down 2-3 others. By chance, even with the guy smashing me from behind I manage to hold my line the entire time and stay upright without any contact with the riders in my proximity.
Phew! That was ****ing close I think to myself. Time to close that gap in front now. I shift down to accelerate and nothing happens. What?
I look down...
Whoops, I guess I'm stuck in my 50x12!
I briefly thought about dropping out of the race but decided to continue on regardless of my mechanical with around half of the race left to go. I'm a spinner with normal cadence around 95-98 rpm, so it was incredibly awkward riding with a cadence of 75 the entire rest of the race.
With one lap to go I make a big move passing around 15 riders on the right bridging up to an attack up front. I'm now in the top 5 coming out of the last corner to the finishing straight. People start accelerating but I can't match it with my big-ass gear ratio. Riders began to pass me left and right...
13th with a single-speed*.
*In hindsight I could have shifted to my 34 ring up front to give me 2 speeds; however, in my mind I only had one speed.