Bike touring webrarian
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
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Riding on one pedal
I spent Christmas in New Jersey with the in-laws, who live in Lambertville, right on a bike path that runs along the Delaware river on both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey side for 30 miles. One day, the family decides to go into New York but I decide to take a bike ride instead, as the weather was nice and I hadn't been on this ride before.
I borrowed my brother-in-law's inexpensive bike with knobby tires and went down the road. The bike was not well maintained but seemed functional, with the exception of an odd thump in the left pedal/crank that seemed random. I checked it out but didn't see anything obviously wrong so continued on.
At the north end of the path (French Town), I crossed over into Pennsylvania and started back home down the path on the other side. About 1 mile down the path, the left pedal simply falls off. After examining the pedal, it becomes clear that whoever put on that pedal didn't know that left-hand pedals are reverse threaded and forced the (steel) pedal into the (aluminum) crank cross-threaded.
I wasn't sure what to do. I started walking but I was 14 miles from home and it was already in the later afternoon. I found a piece of nylon rope, tied my right foot to the remaining pedal but still couldn't ride the bike without pushing down on the left-side crank arm. While it was awkward and uncomfortable, I was able to ride the bike slowly.
It turns out Pennsylvania didn't maintain the trail and it got so bad that even walking the bike was hard. Ten miles from the turn around point, there was the first bridge crossing the Delaware back into New Jersey. I figured I could get to the nearest town, call a taxi, and get both me and the bike home before it got dark. In the nearest town (3 miles from the bridge), I discovered that they don't have taxis in that part of New Jersey. However, the owner of the inn where I asked, offered to drive me the 4 miles to my in-laws house. It was dark when I finally got back to the house.
While this wasn't a tour, it sure had that feeling of being on my own, in the middle of nowhere, depending on the kindness of people you meet on the side of the road.