Through the Rough

Some rides are sensational and some rides are sentences. This morning the latter. Before I left my house, I made sure to pack my Gerber multi-tool. Didn’t know why, but I figured I’d rather have it and not need it.

The weather was warmer as opposed to yesterday, starting my ride in freezing rain. Not really refreshing. I’d still rather wake up with a bar of Coast, then getting pelted with icy little needles. On crappy weather days, I like to begin them with a shot of something nice and warm. Sadly I was fresh out and no bars by me are open that early, nor would I want to visit them if they were. Morning drunks are a breed all to themselves.

My bike looks like I’d been racing in the cyclocross worlds the day before. I figure, that as long as its sound, so what to a little grime?

I stop off to get my usual coffee. A medium cup with half and half gets me about 5 miles before having to empty the tank. This coincides perfectly with my favorite winter spot to pee. A nicely manicured park next to a brook and a manmade pond. As far as peeing outdoors goes, it doesn’t get any better than that.

I wrap up business and then mount and begin to ride off when I hear metal grinding and popping. In slow motion I see my chain very elegantly cascading down the pulley’s and falling to the street. I was perfectly too far into my ride to go back home. A co-worker offered to give me a lift, but I wasn’t bleeding, I’m handy when it comes to this kind of thing and I’m very prideful about finishing rides.

I instantly go into my bag for the chain breaker. My least favorite tool to use; especially in the cold. I figured, I had about 10 minutes before my hands would start to numb. Without a master link, I had to cobble the broken chain back together. Took about 20 minutes, by which time I had to pee again. I find my tree again and carefully with grimy hands expose myself and trying my best to keep my loins grime-free. The last time I had a chain go, the weather was 50 degrees warmer. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but my hands weren’t in pain either. I remember smelling lilacs.

I mounted my bike and began soft pedaling in my highest gears. Heavy on the cadence and light on the torque, expecting the chain to snap at the worst time; like in heavy traffic. Didn’t happen. Limped into work.

Another beautiful morning in the saddle.

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