After the heartbreak of my brand new bike's demise, I was hoping for an uneventful ride from Tuba City, AZ to Mexican Hat, UT. The planned route was 116 miles with 4900 feet of climbing, so the goal was just keep the rubber side down on my loaner bike and arrive safely in Mexican Hat.
For most of the day, this was indeed the case. Riding through dramatic landscapes, the weather staying clear and mild. I climbed into a paceline with some moderately exerting pals, and life was good. At one point though, a rider had gone off the front. That is, he had unknowingly pedaled too hard leaving the others struggling to catch up. I reassured everyone I would sprint up to catch him. What happened next you wouldn't believe without a picture.
As I stood up on my pedals and started cranking hard to sprint up to the rider ahead, I felt a sudden slip in the power transfer on my bike. I immediately pulled up wondering what had happened. At first glance, everything seemed groovy. However, as I went to pedal again, I quickly realized the two crank arms were no longer opposite each other, but were almost parallel.
I pulled over to the side of the road as the other riders chuckled at my solidifying reputation as a bike killer. My preliminary diagnosis was that it was just the crank arm attachment becoming loose and needed to be tightened. I gave the screws a couple turns with an Allen key and confidently mounted up to continue the ride.
A mere two pedal strokes later, my left crank arm is hurling across the street into oncoming traffic while my entire right crank arm, chain ring, and half the bottom bracket explode out to the right side still attached to my shoe. Needless to say, the peanut gallery was in hysterics.
I sent the other riders along because, thankfully, this is a Trek Travel trip and a mechanic soon came along to literally build a fresh bottom bracket on the scene. Within a half hour I was rolling again and happy to be doing so.
Unfortunately, my forward progress was impeded by some poorly written directions that, just after crossing the border into Utah, sent me uphill to the Monument Valley visitor center. By the time the error became clear to me, I had already logged 4.5 miles off the main route. Thus, the day's final tally came to 125 miles with most of that alone.
Finally arriving in Mexican Hat, I was ready to eat. Thus it was a treat to visit the Swingin' Steak, so named because the chef keeps the grill in a constant pendulum over the coals of the fire ensuring even cooking while reducing flare-ups. The whole thing just looked downright macho and the steaks that came off it kicked ass.
It was a long day across some fascinating countryside and, ultimately, I just felt lucky to be crawling into bed.