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Old 10-16-10, 07:44 PM   #1
xizangstan
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Have you ever given up and called someone to come get you?

I was thinking about it again today, as I was a long way from home, back off the beaten path on one of those long Rails-To-Trails, where cars and pickup trucks aren't allowed. Which probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, as I didn't really know where the hell I was in relation to the highway system.

I've been either lucky or hard headed. I've had nasty flats, with tires and tubes unrepairable. I've elected to walk miles back instead of calling someone. But I wonder how long it will be until I finally need to call someone to come rescue me.

Has it ever happened to you? What was the breakdown? Could it have been avoided with simple parts or tools on board?
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Old 10-16-10, 07:50 PM   #2
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It was a hot July day in Las Vegas. I didn't get as early a start as I should have. I went trailblazing on my MTB and ended up with two miles of soft dirt and a 600 foot climb in 2.5 miles to get to Boulder City. What the ride didn't take out of me, the heat did. I chickened out and called my wife. I'm so ashamed........not really. I was beat.
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Old 10-16-10, 07:56 PM   #3
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You mean call the wife who drives our official "sag-mobile"?? No, I wouldn't do anything like that. Nope. Never. After all, bciycling is supposed to be fun!!
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Old 10-16-10, 08:07 PM   #4
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I have a couple of times. The most recent one, my rear derailleur sheared off and i was about 35 miles from my car. Attempts to turn the bike into a single gear didn't work. Well it did, but in such a way that my chain seized up about every half mile. I rode/limped to the nearest hamlet - about 3 miles- and calculated that I would not get home until well past midnight. My wife was out of the country and my 13 year old daughter was returning home around dinner time. I found a car service in the yellow book and payed a guy with a Town Car (giant trunk) to drive me back to my car.
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Old 10-16-10, 08:37 PM   #5
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Bonked at 90 miles into a century ride a couple of years ago and had to be hauled in on the SAG wagon. Could not have turned the cranks even another 90 degrees. Oh... the shame

Other than that, no.

Closest call was a broken spoke on a solo ride about 26 miles out and on the other side of the mountain. Limped back to the vehicle at a rather sedate pace but made it.
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Old 10-16-10, 08:42 PM   #6
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Only once. I broke a spoke on an old poorly maintained wheel. It was too destroyed to ride. I came close another time when I shredded a sidewall 20 miles from my car. Another biker came up and asked if I needed help. I showed him the problem and he said "Come on over, I live in the second house on the left". He gave me a tire and a tube and I finished a beautiful ride. When I got back to the car, I took the tire and tube off, drove back to his house and returned them with my thanks. Ever since then, I always offer help to a rider in need.
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Old 10-16-10, 08:48 PM   #7
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Yeah, but I was in the middle of the Baja desert with broken ribs. Bonked, crashed, bad weather, too dark, lost a cleat, catastrophic equipment failure -- all perfectly legit reasons to call for a ride with no shame at all. The only time you should hang your head is if it was a simple mechanical and you forgot to bring a multi-tool or a tube.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:02 PM   #8
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Besides accidents or breakdowns, I keep wondering if one day I'm going to discover age has sneaked up on me, and I won't be able to get myself back. I love bicycling in part because of all the neat things I get to see. I'm thinking that one day, I'm going to go a little too far before I decide to turn around and start heading back.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverborama View Post
Yeah, but I was in the middle of the Baja desert with broken ribs. Bonked, crashed, bad weather, too dark, lost a cleat, catastrophic equipment failure -- all perfectly legit reasons to call for a ride with no shame at all. The only time you should hang your head is if it was a simple mechanical and you forgot to bring a multi-tool or a tube.
Is this another one of the "macho" things I missed out somewhere in my upbringing.

I need someone to keep track of these events so I don't screw up again.

I wouldn't want to bring "shame" on the male psyche.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:18 PM   #10
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This summer at around 75 miles into an 85 miler, when it was just too hot to go on. I watch my HRM, and when my heart rate keeps going up while speed is going down, I swallow my pride and call. Heat exhaustion isn't fun.
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Old 10-16-10, 09:24 PM   #11
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A few years ago I was coming off of several days of being very sick but I was getting cabin fever over the inability to get out on the bike. I checked out my ride list , found what I wanted..........about a 15 mile ride that was essentially flat or downhill all the way, told my son where to come get me and made the ride.

I'm not embarrased at all, a ride is a ride is a ride.
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Old 10-16-10, 11:50 PM   #12
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I was on tour once many years ago and cut a tire so badly on a rock that I couldn't go further. I didn't have a tire boot, and I did not know about the trick of using a dollar bill as a tire boot. I hitched a ride to the next town, which was way too small to have a bike shop (or much of anything else). I found a forest ranger who let me have the tire off his own personal bicycle. A couple days later, I reached a town w/a bike shop, bought him a new tire and mailed it to him.
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Old 10-17-10, 12:31 AM   #13
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I got bailed by a car twice. Thirty years ago I got a late start with a friend on a 60 miler to another friend's parents' house. It started to get dark, and we didn't have lights. The other time was 21 years ago when my tandem's headset just gave up while on a 30-day tour. We were about 20 miles from Kamloops and a very nice lawyer who was the defense portion of a traveling court show gave us a lift into town and lodging. The only bike shop in town fixed us up quite nicely the next morning and off we went. That headset is just now being replaced, along with the forks.

I might have had to use a sag on a double-century 25 years ago when my single-speed bike had a rear wheel failure. Lucky for me a friend was too sick to go on after lunch, so he gave me his bike to finish on and he took mine on the sag bus.

I feel pretty lucky to have not needed any bailing out over the past two decades (knuckles to head). I don't think there is much more than luck involved. I continue to do the same things that got me stuck years ago, it just keeps working out.
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Old 10-17-10, 12:55 AM   #14
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While cleaning out a foreclosed house in '95, I scored a tattered, yet functional mid 80's Specialized Expedition. The sidewalls were pretty scary looking. They were all frayed and stuff. First road bike I ever had. I didn't know at the time that I loved that bike. Nothing I've ridden since has been the same. I gave that bike to my dad; how can I subtly/overtly let him know I want it back?

Anyway, I lubed the cables to get it shifting properly and immediately rode it 30 miles, frayed tires, torn seat, sketchy brakes and all. That ride gave me enough confidence in my ability to over extend myself later.

Jumped on the bike again for my second voyage (after a tune-up and some new tires) and mentally calculated a 50 mile loop that started and stopped at my front door.

The loop was more like a large oval that was flat at the bottom. The flat part was the last leg home and by the time I reached that point, several hours had gone by and a hefty headwind had picked up.

40 miles in, hot summer day, 20 mph head wind, Second time ever riding on the road. I was done.

So yeah, it was a breakdown. Me.
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Old 10-17-10, 01:06 AM   #15
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Now days something really weird would have to happen for me to call my wife to be picked up because there are buses that run all over the island and they all have bike racks so I can pretty easily bail if I need to. Before the buses got the bike racks I did have to a few times when something unfixable happened to the bike (frame broke for example). I only bailed once because I wasn't feeling well. I was doing a self-supported century around the island and started feeling real bad around mile 60. Turns out I had contracted the flu and was running a high fever. I felt just fine when I had started the ride.
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Old 10-17-10, 01:41 AM   #16
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Only call for a Sag Wagon was on a nice winters day and I went up on the hills to see how deep the snow was. Just as I got to the top of the first hill- I broke the chain. Temp below freezing and a long walk back. I phoned the wife and I coasted down to the nearest town for her to pick me up.

I was really annoyed as I had arranged for her to meet me at a cafe and she got there before I did. No pie that morning as she wanted to get home.

snow5..JPG snow3..JPG snow4..JPG

Got a few pics though but it was cold.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:19 AM   #17
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I started out on a 100 mile ride around a lake. Thinking their would be plenty of places to stop for water. Any i rode until 9.30 pm when I needed the sherriff to take me back to the car 25 miles short. If I would have had any kind of bicycle light i would have been ok but as it were the light i had rubberbanded to the stem shown more up than on the ground.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:24 AM   #18
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I've made the call once, when I first started road riding and got lost with the sun going down and no blinkies.

There have several other times I wanted to call but didn't out of stupidity.

I popped a spoke 20 miles from home in the boonies and did call home, but my wife had no idea where I was (this was before IPhones) so I hobbled carefully back home.

That's it.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:27 AM   #19
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Three times. The first was when a pizza delivery guy rode me into a ditch breaking my derailleur off. The other two times were due to chain failure, both within three miles of home. Until I had my ankle fused last December I could not have walked a mile in sneakers let alone bike shoes.
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Old 10-17-10, 06:41 AM   #20
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Yes and it makes me grouchy.

I've had stuff break or mechanical problems that I couldn't figure out how to fix on the road. I've gotten so over-cooked that I was dizzy and light headed and didn't think that it was smart to continue. I've even ended a couple of rides in the back of an ambulance with broken bones.

There's always new things to learn. After breaking the seat binder bolt a couple of times I started carrying a spare on our tandem. The next time, however, the whole seat clamp broke so I started carrying one of them. Rider physical issues are harder to plan for and, one of the symptoms or heat sickness is impared judgement. There's a lot of wisdom in knowing when to soldier on and when to cut your losses.
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Old 10-17-10, 07:59 AM   #21
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Only happened to me once when the drive side chain stay on my carbon bike snapped, tearing off the rear dérailleur (actually sheared it in half) and knocking out about half the spokes on the rear wheel. I was 14 miles from home. I toyed with throwing the bike over the guardrail and walking home..I was more than mildly annoyed, but thought better of it and called for my wife to come get me.

Probably wasn't the smartest thing I ever did, but even on my last face plant from hitting a dog broadside I rode home. I realized it was a bad idea as I was pulling into the driveway and couldn't remember how I got there.
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Old 10-17-10, 08:11 AM   #22
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When I started back, at 45 and a bit overweight, I lived in Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley just north of LA. For those unfamiliar, it is a "flat" 10mi x 15 mi area. I say flat in the same respect that a vertical sheet of glass in your window is flat. The valley slopes from 1400 ft elevation in the Northeast corner at Sylmar where I lived, to about 600 ft along the southern edge. I could easily get to any where in the Valley from home. Getting home I would usually rely on a rack equipped bus, which was hit and miss since at that time the MTA only equipped about 20% with racks. As I got stronger I relied on the rather unreliable MTA less and less.
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Old 10-17-10, 08:35 AM   #23
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I'll walk if it isn't going to take more than an hour or two. A few cases where I called for a ride:

Broken rear derailleur.
Broken spoke, wheel wouldn't clear frame
Broken chain.
Forgot to get pump off beater bike.
Badly sliced tire.
More flats than CO2.

The one case where I was just too lazy to ride (in one gear) was a broken rear shifter cable.

Great use of GPS. You give your rescuer your GPS co-ordinates and they can pinpoint your location in seconds and figure out the best way to get there on Google maps.
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Old 10-17-10, 08:39 AM   #24
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Once just a few weeks ago with a broken chain, again a few years ago on Christmas morning, 39° and got a flat, fell and broke a cleat off. Cold, bruised and frustrated I made the call. And one other time I got 3 flats the same day in 105°...I decided I'd had enough "fun" for one day.
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Old 10-17-10, 08:47 AM   #25
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If there was someone to call, I would have done so today...

Just picked up the new bike from the LBS after having its warranty tune up done. Made the mistake of not doing a test ride yesterday, before this mornings ride...

The front brakes were rubbing, the one side pad had the rear of the pad rubbing on the rim. The front fender was rubbing on the tire. I could hear the rubbing/sqeaking soon after I first started, but it took about a mile and a half before I figured out where it was coming from. Stopped on the side of the road and fixed the brakes, only pushed the fender into what I thought was a correct position. Everything was fine for another half mile, but the rubbing started again. This time it was just the fender. I stopped and used the wrench to loosen the one stay and pulled it to keep the fender off the tire. That seemed to do the trick for another 3-4 miles, but a rubbing sound came back...

At about that point, my shoe lace, which I hadn't noticed had come loose, got tangled in the chain/sprocket. Since that is the side foot I unclip when I stop, I fell over when I came to a stop and couldn't disengage....

At that point I just road home...

Not a good ride today...
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