My fiance and I recently moved to New Orleans. To get here we loaded up the VW wagon and made the drive. We trimmed down our bike collection by putting a few in storage and selling the ones we weren't really attached to. We strapped the remaining 4 on the roof. Two road bikes, and two city/commuter bikes. She brought a Specialized Allez from about 2000, and a 1980 Miyata 610 converted to a single speed. I brought my recently built Merida road bike, and my Austro Daimler city bike. The AD is where I spend most of my time in the saddle, and it is my favorite ride.
Along the way to the deep south (read about the trip here if you desire) we took the bikes off the roof at night because neither one of us trusted the locking skewers on the Yakima racks. While leaving Washington DC (where we visited my sister) I FORGOT to strap down the back wheel on the AD!!!! It was early in the morning, but really, this is no excuse. Its kinda like forgetting to put the seatbelt on one of your children.
Traveling west on the famous Route 66, Syrah (my fiance) hears a light thud, and just so happens to glance out the the side mirror. She saw an object sitting in the middle of the road with drivers swerving around it. It took us each a moment to realize it came from our car and we pulled over. We looked at each other and Syrah said "I'm scared to look at the roof!" She was terrified. Not about losing a bike, but causing a major traffic accident. I looked up on the roof and my AD was missing. While Syrah was having a bit of a panic attack (I was quite scared too), I calmed her a bit and started running along the shoulder to retrieve the wreckage.
A quarter mile later, I see the bike sitting on the white dashed line between two lanes of traffic. The heavy traffic was swerving around it, and I had to wait for an opening to get out there. It sat at the threshold between the 4th and 5th lane of the highway (one of the lanes was a merging on-ramp). Traffic was whizzing by. I was scared each time I saw a car approaching. What if it didn't swerve? What if it hits the bike and spins out of control? What happens if someone slams on the brake and skids out? ugh!
Finally there was a break in the traffic and I ran out and grabbed the bike. I threw it over my shoulder and started to run back towards the car. I got to the car, put the bike on the ground, and went to see how Syrah was. She was still there, but wanted to leave. I needed to find a way to get my mangled bike back on the roof. The back of the car was too stuffed to fit it in there. The fork ends were a bit twisted, and one of them was squeezed just enough from impact with the pavement that it would not fit over the skewer. I forced the fork end open using leverage from the guard rail and managed to get it big enough to accept the skewer. I quickly took off the mangled fenders with a pocket tool and strapped her back on the car.
The damage to the AD: Bent fork blades; "squeezed" fork end; roughed up saddle, pedal, and handlebars; bent rear triangle, bent rear axle, shot rear hub bearings. I thought it was going to be worse.
I used homemade drop out alignment tools, a 2x4, and strength to fix all the bends. The fork blades turned out to be not the bad. Once I aligned the drops, the blades seemed to align themselves. I'm guessing this is because of the oval shaped tubes. I aligned the rear triangle with a string, caliper, and the 2x4 using Sheldon's cold setting technique. I replaced the axle and cartridge bearings in the Harris Cyclery Formula hub (I made a bearing press using bronze bushings, and the track nuts that go with the wheel. Worked perfectly.) I replaced the handlebars. The Avocet seat still works, and so do the pedals. Here is the repaired machine. I'm so glad to have her back. I'm so glad nobody was hurt.