"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, February 03, 2008

When bad things happen to good bikes

Karla (my Surly touring bike, just to make sure everyone knows I'm referring to a beloved object but not a living being) is a bit roughed up from being dragged behind a truck for several yards on the freeway. Surprisingly intact though. Found a small dent in the top tube but otherwise no visible damage to the frame. Brake levers all messed up, quick releases scraped off, and one pedal bent and scraped. Wheels look fine though. They were advertised as "bombproof" and I can almost believe it.

So what happened. I was taking my bike down to Sacramento for a ride this weekend (that turned out to be canceled due to rain). Rain? I thought maybe I should put a raincover on my bike in case it rained on the drive down. I have a bike cover...not specifically made for car transporting, but I tied it down really well. My rack attaches to the bed of the truck, near the cab, with a tension bar. I happened to have a cinch strap tied around the rack and tied to a tiedown in the truck bed.

I got on the freeway in Chico and noticed the cover was flapping a lot in places, but like I said, it was well tied down. I thought the worst thing that could happen was that the cover would come loose...I was thinking I should pull over and check it at the next exit, when in the rearview mirror I see the whole BIKE come loose and fly up and out of the bed. I saw in the side mirror that it was dragging behind. I thought it was destroyed. I was all the way over in the left lane. Nobody was behind me (whew) so I pulled over to the right and off into the shoulder. I saw then that the bike was still attached to the rack. The wind resistance with the tarp was enough to pull the whole rack off the truck. I've had this rack for at least five years and ever had a problem with it. Never had a cover on any of the bikes though.

I'll be able to ride my old bike for awhile until I can get the replacement brake levers, etc. and have a shop check out the frame to make sure it's okay. If it had been aluminum instead of steel it would have been trashed. Maybe the Surly company would like my story for their website (provided that the frame is really okay). Most bicycles don't crash at 65 miles per hour. Or 70 miles per hour, either, though I probably wouldn't know.

Better news is that with help from friends and family, my fundraising for the NorCal AIDS Challenge in May is off to a great start. I'm a over a quarter of the way to my $1,600.00 goal.


Allie said...

Moments when things like that happen are terrifying. I hope everything turns out okay and that there's no hidden major damage.

adam said...

You should pitch that story to the company to make a commercial... like maybe the bike gets trashed and then you get on it and win a race or something. : )

M.A said...

Poor, poor Karla. :-(