One problem I’ve never had on my  Miyata 1000LT

is Sudden Unintended Acceleration.  Nope, never been an issue!  More like extremely tepid, very intentional, mild acceleration.  That’s more like it.

Even when I do have a breakdown, as I did just this week, I have a back-up bike (or two…) in the garage.

Monday morning was a real Monday this week.  I heard a timid squeaking sound coming from my chain, but chose to ignore it.  Bad move.  Nearing the top of the hill on Donnelly, it snapped. Pow!  Everett seemed impressed with the pop as we coasted to a slow stop in the driveway of a house that has been in various stages of remodeling for months.

Immediately a car pulled over.  Wow, I thought – people are so helpful around here!  Two older men stepped out, and walked deliberately around us to get a closer look at the phone number on the dumpster behind the house. “Is that an 818 or 810?”  “I think it’s an 818.”   “Oh, hi.” And that was the extent of that.

I fiddled with my chain for a few minutes, on the off chance I could somehow bend the link back again with my bare hands.  Superwoman though I am, that proved impossible (must have been the light chill in the air…yeah, that’s it).

But then another bike rider pulled up.  “You got a chain tool?” I asked, hoping, hoping.  “No, but let me see what I can do.”  Five minutes later, we both gave up.  Everett was miraculously quiet and chill the entire time (thanks, kid!)

“They say you should always carry a spare chain and a chain tool,” he noted.  (Here’s Mike at Intown on what to carry.)   I gave our new acquaintance a set of lights, and he took off for the library (after offering to walk us home – I demurred).

It didn’t take long to get back to the house since we we were just about a mile away.  We coasted down hills and pushed back up (well, I pushed – Everett just continued to be cooperative, but heavy).  Home before we knew it, I rolled my bike into the shed and picked out another bike from our collection.

That’s another nice thing about bikes – you can afford to own a backup (or two)!

Thursday afternoon, one of Atlanta’s few remaining bike messengers came in through the open door at ABC.  He came bearing a gift – a rusty but very functional multitool…with a chain attachment.

In case you’re interested, here’s how to fix a broken bicycle chain.  (Your chain is pretty sure to break if you don’t click on the link, and unlikely to snap if you do.)