So how many people does it take to fix a stuck chain? Good question. It was an interesting morning from the start; Kevin (my son, not the pilot) couldn’t make it because he’d been up a lot of the night with his mysterious kidney pain again, and me? I felt the effects of Sunday’s ride pretty badly. Normally by Tuesday I’m fine, but that first long ride with the power meter on Sunday? Kind of killed me. Why? Not because of the PR I established on Old LaHonda, but because I was never taking a chance to rest, always looking at that power meter and thinking maybe I can do better here. Only a 60 mile ride, but it beat me up more than most longer rides have. That’s OK; that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right?
I was hoping for an easy ride up Kings and then Marcus shows up, just before the start of the climb. I’m barely hanging on in the middle of things when I hear something behind, not unlike a bike crash but not quite that loud. I look back and see Eric and Mark P at the side of the road, and my first thought is no problem, two of them, it’s handled, whatever it is. Second thought is, who am I kidding, I feel like my legs aren’t going to climb fast anyway, and I know a thing or two about mechanical stuff on bikes. It’s probably just a flat, but…
So I circle back and find Mark’s rear wheel totally locked up. He’s somehow managed to overshift past the largest rear cassette, jamming the chain between cassette and wheel. And I mean jammed. They’re not able to get it out of there. I’ve got long-fingered gloves on so I give it a try myself, since I can get a bit more force on it. No go. Try again. Man, this thing is really stuck!!! About the time Mark’s thinking it’s time to call for a ride home I look at the wheel again and think maybe we can disassemble it, get the cassette body moved away from the hub and free the chain. Which, thankfully, worked!
The rest of the ride was uneventful, just me trying to hang onto the wheel in front of me and never quite feeling like I was in control. At least everyone was waiting for Eric and I (Mark had turned around to head home, not wanting to risk a further mishap) at the top of the hill, arriving about 15 minutes late. Hate that. Thursday will be better!