Dirt, sweat and (one) gear

My husband finally moved off the waiting list for the Tour of the Battenkill on April 10. This, coupled with the fact that it finally hit 50 degrees in NY, was reason enough to hit the dirt. Northern Dutchess County, our stomping ground, has some amazing dirt roads with fantastic climbs.

road, pavement, country road, back road

We hit a mix of dirt and paved roads. It was a windy day, but the miles ticked by.

kelly benefit strategies, bike rider, cyclist

Although snow is still in the forecast, today was perfect for just arm and leg warmers. At this point, my shifter was beginning to feel sticky, like the goop of winter was stuck on its cables. Mental note: Pay the bike shop a visit.

SRAM Rival, bike shifter, handlebars

"The last shift"

Nearly seven miles, and a few stiff dirt climbs from home, we hit a screamin’ fast descent. I clicked my shifter and was surprised to find that one tap pushed it up until it was parallel to my bars. Okay, this is pretty shitty, but it could always be worse… Looks like I’ll be visiting the bike shop asap!

Then I realized…


cannondale, bike gearing, crankset

…the gear I was stuck in. Big ring, smallest cog. Oh God, this is a twisted singlespeeder’s dream. So I shifted to the small ring like a cross-chaining idiot and prepared to hammer the hills. With the cadence of a fat man on a full suspension Walmart bike, I grunted up the first two hills like a slug in quicksand. But I knew better than to bust my knees trying to imitate a bike messenger. So I parked my pride on the gritty shoulder next to a rusty barn silo and waited as my husband sprinted ahead to fetch the car.

Have you ever found yourself stranded mid-ride because of a mechanical? What happened and how did you turn the situation around?

3 thoughts on “Dirt, sweat and (one) gear

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