Now get out of that


If you’ve been riding bikes for any length of time, especially with a group, you’ve probably encountered an almost-terminal mechanical failure by now. And if someone’s bike packs up out in the boonies, you need some way to get out again, an imperative that can lead to all sorts of imaginative bodges.

This, for example, is Ben’s back wheel. Ben probably has a surname, but that’s not important right now. He was riding in Cannock Chase with Norman Morrison and some other riders when that sizable branch conspired to find its way into his wheel, ripping out 24 spokes and leaving a paltry eight intact.

After the initial amazement and amusement had subsided, the issue of how to traverse the 10km back to the cars was raised. The initial plan was to drive a car somewhat nearer, but a motorbike accident in Cannock put paid to that idea.

Plenty of spares

A quick burst of lateral thinking later, though, and Ben’s bike was dismantled and the frame and wheels attached to the backs of other riders with Camelbak straps and spare inner tubes. Meanwhile a rider known only as Mark gave Ben – “thankfully now without his Stiffee,” says the ever-subtle Norm – a “backie” (or “seater” depending on regional affiliation) to get him home.

Good effort, chaps. Anyone else got any inspired self-rescues or top-quality “field repairs”? Tell us all about it – include pictures and we’ll run the best ones here…


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