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Ever been stranded?

Old 09-19-18, 07:56 AM
  #51  
chicagogal
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I've been very fortunate, I've had mechanicals without the right tools but always been able to walk home or get a ride. I have a lot of stories about long walks (like the freehub froze in sub-zero weather) or getting a ride (over-confident riding 140 miles after the flu). But I've never felt stranded.
Last winter's tubeless fail in a blizzard might be the worst, it'd been 3+ miles of walking in nearly 2 feet for fresh snow to get home, but my personal AAA made the drive to get my dumb butt.

I do a lot of miles in very remote areas on gravel grinders, I've been very fortunate that I've never had an issue in these rural areas [/knocking on wood]. My close to home fails and seeing others fails have taught me a lot about what I really need to have with me.

BTW - 'getting stranded' in the right place can workout well (flatted front with a tire that needed to be thrown away, bead was puncturing tubes - I was stubborn and tried to fix it before the ride)
Maybe "stranded" wasn't the right word. Obviously, we have all made it home! I guess what I meant was "unable to ride home and needed help." I only ever needed a lift once, but I was on a supported training ride with a sag wagon. My RD got caught in my rear wheel (not pretty) and I had no choice but to toss the bike in the van. My only other major mechanical was in a race. It was another busted wheel.... but I had a spare in the wheel truck. Out on my own solo rides, I have only ever flatted and, except for the time I mentioned above when I had no pump or CO2 dispense, I have always just fixed my flats and been back on the road in no time.

I have had to rescue my SO who doesn't carry a patch kit and only ever has one spare tube.... sometimes he is too embarrassed to call for help and I find out later how far he had to walk home :-)
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Old 09-23-18, 05:48 PM
  #52  
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I have never been stranded. Preventative maintenance is key. I live in the snow belt and get cabin fever about not riding. So about Feb I do a complete regimen of preventative maintenance on my bike and trike. Then both my bike and trike have a rack with a trunk pack on it. The trunk packs contain a mini bike shop. So barring a broken major part I can fix my problem and ride home.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:43 PM
  #53  
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ZOMBIE THREAD WARNING!

The last time I was stranded was 2 years ago on a 95* day when in my utter idiocy decided to ride my MTB with two water bottles on a 36 mile out and back, mid-day. At the half-way point I refilled both bottles, drank another full bottle and took a dip in a river and made it 9 miles back when I started to feel really bad. Stopped at a coffee shop and had a big drink and called my wife. I now skip hot days and use my trainer.

Weirdest thing which broke was my seat tube bolt which I had over-tightened because the seat had a tendency to slip in the cradle. Didn’t walk but rode 4 miles out of the saddle with my saddle in the back pocket.
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Old 09-02-21, 08:41 PM
  #54  
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Cool story, well worth the necro revival.
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Old 09-03-21, 08:30 AM
  #55  
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While we're revived...

I was riding my MTB in a wooded area along the Potomac River in northern VA. It was a very cold winter day, and I was perspiring when I emerged from the woods onto a roadway maybe 4 miles from home. Stopping to catch my breath and snack briefly, a flattening rear tire showed itself.

While I normally have little trouble changing a tube, or even patching, and being on my way, this day was different. I began to lose feeling in my fingers and started to chill down. The more I fumbled, the worse it became. I was unable to even manipulate tire levers. So, I bailed...calling my wife to come and get me with the car. Even she commented that this was an unheard-of occurrence - my calling for a ride. Stranded? Yes. Fortunately, I had a easy escape available.
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Old 09-03-21, 09:49 AM
  #56  
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1 time cuz I didn't turn around when I was supposed to. wound up twice as far from my car as I had planned. hottest day of the year, so I called a taxi. 2 other times for broken spokes that made my rear wheel go so far out it jammed on the chain stay. 1st time daughter came to get me, 2nd time had to call a taxi

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Old 09-03-21, 10:38 AM
  #57  
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I was stranded one time because my Topeak road morph fell apart internally. I like to give them free advertising whenever I can, so I don't care if I already posted about it in this thread.

Actually, I just rode the tire flat and a couple of miles later a volunteer for the ride I was on saw I was in difficulty and loaned me a Topeak Road Morph. Which was convenient because I'm not sure anything else would fit on the bike. Fortunately, riding the tire flat didn't damage the tube or the tire so I just inflated it and finished the ride.
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Old 09-03-21, 10:41 AM
  #58  
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After your first flat with through axles, you'll remember to bring the appropriate allen wrench. Especially if you're deep in the Adirondacks with no cell service. Just sayin.
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Old 09-03-21, 10:48 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
Reading the thread about the cyclist on the bike path with no way to fix a flat got me thinking about the one time I was stranded... Let me be clear. I know how to fix flats and am completely self-sufficient. However, I once took an old cross bike out for a spin on the trails, flatted, and realized that my tire levers/CO2 dispenser were both with my road bike. I had CO2 and a spare tube, but nothing else. It was a face-palm moment. Anyway, it was a super-popular trail so I figured I'd be able to flag down help. In the meantime, I managed to get the old tube out and the new one in without tire levers (I was pretty proud of my ingenuity there), figuring that I would only need about 10sec with a borrowed dispenser and the good Samaritan would be on his/her way.... A few cyclists came by but nobody was equipped to help me fix a flat.... it took me at least an hour to find someone with a pump.
I have not. I live in the snow belt and dont ride when it is cold. Starting in Feb I completely disassemble clean and lube the whole bike or trike. Before each ride I wipe down the chain, and top off the tire pressure. I also carry necessary tools and parts with me. Doing that, I have alway been able to ride home.
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Old 09-03-21, 12:01 PM
  #60  
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I've only been semi-stranded. I was riding alone on a country road when I decided to stop and take a picture. I crossed over to the left side of the road to stop, my brain went haywire, and I ended up leaning the wrong way when I unclipped, so I took a fall. Someone in a pickup truck saw me and stopped to help me up. I thought everything was fine, until he drove off when I discovered my derailleur was broken. I stood there for a couple of minutes trying to think of who I could call to come get me, when another pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer stopped. A couple of nice men loaded me and my bike up and drove me to my car. I was so mad about breaking my derailleur on my brand new bike that I didn't even think about being scared of accepting a ride from strangers LOL.
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Old 09-03-21, 06:54 PM
  #61  
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When I first started out riding more than around the neighborhood on my Schwinn Varsity, I decided I should be ready and bought a frame mount pump. Off I went secure in my knowledge I could handle a flat. Got about 15 miles from home and Ssssssssssss…. got my trusty pump and the air leaked as fast as I could pump it in. Damn! This is pre-mobile phones. I was looking at a long walk back. An experienced cyclist asked if everything was OK and I replied No. He stopped and taught me what tools I would need for future rides and showed me how to patch my tire. I return the favor whenever I can.
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Old 09-03-21, 07:00 PM
  #62  
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I have a AAA card and the Uber app so i'm never stranded.
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Old 09-03-21, 07:35 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I have a AAA card and the Uber app so i'm never stranded.
Works great for road bikers, but gravel and MTB, not so much. But then you are a man of the street.

I have both as well but would prefer the call of shame before strangers in these times.
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Old 09-03-21, 07:40 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Works great for road bikers, but gravel and MTB, not so much. But then you are a man of the street.

I have both as well but would prefer the call of shame before strangers in these times.
If I road more than a mile from civilization, i'd carry a lot more parts and tools.

I also live where i'm not more than a mile from a store or deli or business with tools.
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Old 09-04-21, 12:23 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I have a AAA card and the Uber app so i'm never stranded.
I recently learned that AAA will bail out bicycles if help is needed. "Towing" is based on your coverage and there's a weight limit of 90 pounds. I've not tried it yet but actually just called to confirm this is really true - It is!!!
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Old 09-04-21, 02:15 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I have a AAA card and the Uber app so I'm never stranded.
AAA? THEY left me stranded (in my car) in a parking lot from 6pm until almost midnight, whereupon I called the pregnant Wife and SHE came and got me with a tow-strap, towed the car home ourselves. A few days later, AAA had the gall to send a 'customer service reply card' to ask about their service performance... I lambasted them a good one. What if it were your pregnant wife that was left stranded for SIX HOURS with a 'no show'? -- This was long before Uber/Lyft... AAA can kiss my @ss!!! Even at that, don't even get me started on their 'no-start' jumps in the dead of a Cleveland below-zero Winter. For that, you're looking at a TWO DAY wait...
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Old 09-04-21, 04:39 PM
  #67  
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Once. Tooling along on a busy street when my back wheel locked up and I stopped very quickly. Somehow I'd picked up a stick that went into my rear derailleur and trashed the whole works. I couldn't walk home, not with the bike anyway, so I called the husbeast who came and we tossed into the back of the SUV.

There was the time I low-speed crashed and ended up with a case of road rash on my forearm, but I was able to take the bus home; I don't remember what I used for the blood; I think someone gave me a paper napkin. That's when I started carrying a bandana on my rides.
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Old 09-04-21, 05:14 PM
  #68  
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Just once, a stick had punctured my tire causing a flat. I thought I had a spare tube with me, but when I checked my saddle bag, nope. I did attempt to patch, but it didn't work. I was only 2 miles so was going to walk it when a friend texted me so I just had him pick me up. When I got hope, the patch had worked, but the stick had gone through both sides of the tube. I was able to patch the other side and reuse the tube.

I've been saved by a fellow mountain biker once when a derailleur pulley came loose and I didn't have the right size hex key (didn't realize I didn't have that size in my bag). That size went in my bag when I got home.
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Old 09-04-21, 07:04 PM
  #69  
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The opposite: Ran across a gravel rider with his rear tire off while I was riding my MTB on a rail-trail conversion. Stopped to see if I could help and he said PLEASE. Seems he had 4 flats while riding out from Seattle to my area, about 18 miles and ran out of tubes and patches. He was also about 3 miles from any road so he would have had quite the hike. Since I had converted the MTB to tubeless, I had no real need for patches but remembered I had a brand new box in the under the seat bag. I tossed him the box and wished him the best.
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Old 09-05-21, 05:00 PM
  #70  
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Not saying ... don't want to jinx myself
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Old 09-05-21, 06:52 PM
  #71  
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Got stuck during my first summer of distance riding with a crank that had worked loose. No one at the end of the closed street event had suitable tools but another cyclist drove me back his nearby house where we tried with what he had in the garage, then to a hardware store where I got an allen key almost large enough, and finally to a different trail where I tried to resume my ride. Not sure if I knew then quite how close I was to a commuter train station - found it years later when it started raining in the same spot. Still, enjoyed trying to salvage the day's ride even if in the end it cost me a few bucks to replace the bolt I munged standing on the hardware store allen key until it levered out. Now I have a giant one in my saddle bag, that's seen more use re-railing my nephew's chain, though there was the one time I used it as intended after hearing some creaking climbing out of saddle.

More generally I ride with most of what I think I'd personally need. And I stop when I see people in difficulty, though, if they don't respond to my hails and the issue isn't obviously mechanical, may just continue on my way.

Generally I have the most success helping people with "spontaneous dissasembly" events that need mechanical aptitude and/or a way to turn bolts or screws, vs tire or broken chain events where I don't usually have what they need, unless putting some moderate pressure back in does it.

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Old 09-05-21, 09:03 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
The last time I was stranded was 2 years ago on a 95* day when in my utter idiocy decided to ride my MTB with two water bottles on a 36 mile out and back, mid-day. At the half-way point I refilled both bottles, drank another full bottle and took a dip in a river and made it 9 miles back when I started to feel really bad. Stopped at a coffee shop and had a big drink and called my wife. I now skip hot days and use my trainer.
Last weekend I did a 43 mile ride with temps in the 90's. I had two water bottles and a hydration pack on my back. The plan was to ride up to this town that has a small bar & grill, have lunch, and then ride back home. The ride up there was fine, though I realized I forgot to bring electrolyte packs or Gatorade powder. Got to the bar, and it wasn't open for some reason, even though they were open on a Saturday when a few of us stopped there earlier in the year. So I rode to the park a few blocks down and took a rest stop at a picnic table, realizing that I didn't have any Clif bars or anything to eat, either. Guy mowing the grass at the park stopped his weed eater and said, "Hot day for a ride, isn't it?" The breeze coming from the south felt pretty good while I was sitting there, but on the ride back home it was a constant headwind. Luckily I was able to get some ice water at the library/community center of a small town on the route back home. Several times I kept thinking, "this is really stupid of me to be out here in this heat." Had I not been able to make it back home on the bike, I'd have really been stranded since my wife was at work and my kids are too young to drive. Thankfully through dogged determination and numerous rest breaks, I made it back home.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:10 PM
  #73  
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Not too often.

20 years ago or something some young hoods ran me off the road and proceeded to jump out the car and attack me. 3 on 1 and I didnít get so much as a black eye. Anyway, some folks called the police (very few people had cell phones in the early aughts). The cop did have to give me a ride home because my derailleur ended up in my spokes from the ordeal.

Another time my fork broke. It was slow motion so I wasnít hurt, hitchhiking worked fine.

I lately have been telling myself that once I get back to a well traveled road that Iím going to hitch a ride due to my exhaustion. I never do though, and I finish my ride.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:39 PM
  #74  
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park and ride amtrack from san jose to sacramento and back,

bike area inside the station.

come back to s j on train. 11 pm bike gone. busses gone. don't want to wake anybody. walk home down stevens creek blvd.
11 miles. 3 hours. and no bike. pissed me off. bike was a POS. no name frame. single speed. rattle can paint.
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Old 09-06-21, 01:49 AM
  #75  
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One time. It was in the 90's and I was carrying glueless patches, which sucked back then, and two co2 carts. Got a puncture, patched it and air leaked from the patch. Put on another patch, aired it up and rode a hundred meters and it leaked again. And that process continued. To make it shorter, I ended up running out of co2 and got stranded. After that I went back to carrying a pump. I recently rolled the dice went back to co2 but I have 2 cartridges on my bottle cage cartridge mount and another two in my saddle bag or jersey and I also carry a glue on patch kit.

As a side note, I've always had at least one bike with tubulars since I got my first bike in the 80's and I have never been stranded running them. I go many years between flats with them because they almost never pinch flat. It did happen once to me when I hit some RR tracks at the wrong angle and almost crashed. One tubular pinch flat in 34 years. Tubulars have a big misconception today.

Carrying a multitool with a chain breaker as I always do has saved me from being stranded quite a few times.
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