Current mood: disgusted
Tuesday night, I managed to bicycle to Dormont, a southern suburb of Pittsburgh, a distance of about 14 miles. No problem. Coming home, though, when I went to downshift at one point, my derailleur tangled with my rear spokes, causing an immediate wheel seize. Completely immobilized, I was lucky to catch a city bus for the remainder of the trip home. After removing the bike from the bus's rack, I was able to fiddle with the mangled derailleur enough to at least push the bike home.
Backwards. One and one half mile, pushing a bicycle, backwards.
Just how this happened, I'm not sure. I took a slight spill earlier in the day, which might have bent the derailleur a bit. Maybe, but I'd just ridden 20 miles, downshifting into the lowest gear any number of times. More likely I tripped up a stick or wire or something on the street, which pulled the part into the spokes.
However it happened, I now need to come up with the scratch for a new derailleur, and maybe a couple of spokes, too. Derailleurs run for $75 on the cheap end, several choices in the low $100s, and lots well beyond that. Crud. With limited (read: no) income, that means the bike sits for what might be a long, long time. A pity, too, because I was starting to put easily 50 to 75 miles a week on it for basic transportation, as several recent blogs documented. I was really hoping I could bicycle commute.
Meanwhile, since the car needs a brake job so my wife can safely commute to her paying job, and my son needs the bus pass to get to school, I'm back to being on feet. Those two get the first transportation dollars available.