A chain broke on Bettie earlier this week while taking my daughter to school. Luckily my cat-like reflexes prevented a crash and we coasted back home. I got the chain fixed with a SRAM power link. That’s a simple invention that works amazingly well – no chain tool required.
Breaking the chain reminded me of the one other time I broke a chain. It was during the 1995 Mt. Spokane NORBA. I was nearly dying, suffering like a dog, flying down a fire road, into a hairpin, up a goat trail, shifted hard, and the chain snapped. The 4 dudes that were behind me quickly passed me and my day was done. In a panicked state, I fumbled with the chain tool for 10 minutes or so, put it on backwards once (wrong way through the pulleys), and then for what seemed like an hour later it was back on the bike.
I chased like a MOFO, with the hope that someone flatted ahead, or one of their Tioga Disc Drive wheels (scroll down to see it) exploded, and keep up a frantic pace until the woman’s field arrived. After the initial humiliation, it was very pleasant to ride briefly with Juli Furtado. She was the smoothest rider I’d ever seen. Like a machine, she rolled up with a few girls, chatted briefly (they probably thought I was near a heart attack or something), and just motored on by.
Later, at the finish, that disaster of a race was forgotten and I was determined to not take 15 minutes to fix a chain again. Sidenote: That was the race that Jerry Markee won the sport/expert field and got a seatpost as a prize. When the official handed him the post, he looked inside of the tube and said, “is there cash in there.” For years, that was the seat post joke.
I also remember a ride where we caveman’d a guys chain with a rock to get it back together. Then one time Randy Coleman’s chain broke during a ride, fell off the chain ring, through the pulleys, and flipped up into his Vento wheels, wrapped around a spoke, and he came to a near immediate stop.
What chain stories do you have? Or the worst ever mechanical?