This weekend I participated in the "City to Shore" fundraiser ride for the MS Society. Phil and I took the 78-mile each way option, from Cherry Hill NJ to Ocean City and back. Yesterday, between riding to the start and riding to the hotel, we rode for 90 miles on very flat terrain. (At a new record pace for me for distance riding: 13.0 miles/hr)
The group thinned out considerably between yesterday and today. Most of the less experienced riders had taken the one-way option -- so yesterday I was able to chat with folks on hybrids as we were chugging along, but today I was getting passed by pacelines. My secret schadenfreude, of course, was the guilty delight I took when I saw those same riders get SAGged. Flat tire? Hey, I'm running 700c by 32 commuting tires with gatorskins -- none of those skinny slicks for me. Broken spoke? Maybe you should have 32 spokes made of 13g steel, instead of 20 little strands of unobtanium.
I was about 50 miles in to today's ride. Getting a bit tired, but still chugging along. I went over some railroad tracks; then a few tenths of a mile later, I went to stand up on the pedals and stretch my legs.
Clatter! Clatter-tinkle-thump! Phil, riding behind me, needed to take immediate evasive action to dodge the saddle coming towards him. I looked down and back when I heard the sound of metal hitting the road and saw a naked seat post.
Somehow, I managed to unclip without 1) sitting down or 2) falling over.
After we both pulled over and went looking for bits and pieces, we found the saddle (big and hard to lose), the seatpost (still on the bike, still clamped in), and the two metal "microadjustable" widgets that clamp onto the seat rails and screw into the seat post. What we didn't find was the bolt or screw that holds it all together.
Yes, dear Clydes and 'Theenas, I broke the bolt that held my saddle on. How's that for a "big" ooops!
I have to say that the SAG services were amazing. This all happened about 20 yards from where a support truck was helping another rider with a tire change. As he started to pull away, I flagged him down (by waving my seatpost). He didn't have the missing bolt -- but he did have an entire spare seatpost, which he cannibalized to get the part we needed. The whole episode was corrected in about 15 minutes.
And after the 78 mile ride, Phil and I kept riding, making deliberate detours on our way back home so he could get his first century, and I could get my 2nd. Total mileage for the weekend: 190 miles.