For the want of a spoke…..

I had to go into work on Saturday…..too much to do …not enough time to do it in…..Meh.

Never mind!….. I’ll cycle in !!!  That way I’ll at least get some good out of the day with a nice wee cycle there and back…….yeay!

(It’s only about half an hour each way ….but at least it will reduce the MEH value of the likelihood of a day in the office playing catch up on a couple of projects….)

The bike is duly set up, and the missing mudguard installed on the front wheel…finally.

The backpack is stuffed with extra work clothes for next week (since I’m going in…) and I’m off !! Yeay!

It’s a nice route ….50% cycleway, with lots of trees and going through a park , 50% city centre roads , but at least they have cycle lanes most of the way.

I’m just pushing my way up the slight gradient in the Innocent Railway tunnel when BANG , my rear wheel slumps to one side, locks solid and I’m in a rear wheel skid. I wrestled my way to a skiddy stop , inches from the tunnel wall, and managed to avoid tipping into a face plant.

What the hell?

It’s always cold in the tunnel , and the lights aren’t too bright either….so I literally carried my bike to the end of the tunnel where I could see what had happened.

In the gloominess of the tunnel I had managed to run over a twig on the pathway ….this had caught sideways in my derailleur, got stuck into my spokes and bent backwards up against the wheel hub. Of all the odds of that happening? Most twigs just get bounced out of the way by the tires or I avoid them anyway…..

The motion of the wheel would have snapped the twig eventually had one of my spokes not given up with the additional stress first!!  My wheel had obviously flexed when the spoke went – I had felt that in the wobble before screeching to a mechanically induced halt.

Thank goodness I hadn’t been going full tilt chasing down cars in heavy downtown traffic!! (Yes I admit I do that sometimes…..).

Bugger…it took 20 minutes to unpick the twig and little leaves out of my gears and hub, and twist out the broken spoke so it wouldn’t catch in my gears, chain or frame. It had sheared off at the hub and was now dangling uselessly like a broken arm.  The rear wheel was slightly twisted and rubbed slightly against my rear brakes when rotated, so I slackened them off slightly to make it easier and avoid damage to the brake blocks.

So now a dilemma!  Carry onto work – 15 mins or go home with bust bike –  20 mins (or more if I’m walking….)?

After testing the bike out sans one spoke – I opted to gently and slowly ride it into work – (I still needed to get on with it after all…) but only after ensuring of course that my rear wheel could take my weight (gingerly) without wobble. I did NOT want to collapse my wheel , and this was the risk that I was taking.

I changed my route to take quiet streets and cycle paths so that I could very carefully avoid potholes , excess vibrations, lean further over to load the front wheel more and lift my weight off the rear etc.etc. etc. It made for an entertaining and absorbing ride in – with much more focus on the bike and the route ahead.

My 30 ish minute journey – took just over an hour and 10 minutes ……Meh.

I’ll need to repair the wheel before I ride it anywhere again….Meh.

I was hoping to cycle in to work Monday  and my other bikes are road bikes with firm saddles and skinny wheels, which is obviously not so good over the cobbles of Edinburgh New Town . It’s going to be a bruised backside for me maybe…. Meh.



Maybe not … least I’ll get to visit the ever cheerfully friendly folk at my favourite bicycle shop (Criterium Cycles) again……they can sort the wheel , respoking and true-ing it in no time at all no doubt……Wonder what I’ll end up buying when I go in there? ( well….I AM in a bike shop after all…..) LOL.

Ach well …you get days like that don’t you?



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Just as well you weren’t careering down the tunnel (drips & all) when it caught as well. I usually carry a couple of tiny cable ties when I’m out, have been used a few times for spokes etc. (Not always mine) and weighs nowt.


    1. ezpc1 says:

      Cable ties are fab! Ive no idea how we managed short term fixes before them …, so how do you use them as spokes?


      1. Not used as spokes, just anchors the broken one to the others to stop it damaging anything else.


  2. Michael says:

    You did not have to twig on but you spoke a good yarn. Glad you are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chyrel says:

    When dropping by the bike shop, I sometimes end up buying stuff I don’t necessarily need. Lol. To avoid this kind of evil, I just opt for home service instead. Cheers!


    1. ezpc1 says:

      Ah but Chyrel half of the fun of visiting my LBS is to have chinwag with the guys behind the counter , find out what rides they’ve been doing, talk bike tech , fitness exercises etc etc. They have on occasions also made me a lovely cup of tea if they’re not too busy.


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