I know accidents happen all the time. They usually happen when you least expect it or more so when you are just not paying enough attention. This Sunday I am sad to say was the end for a long time passenger of mine. We have been through a lot of good times and bad times together. There have been a lot of changes over the last few years, but together we were the constant.
Sunday came quicker then I expected and my bike conditions were not the greatest. The Fuji is in some dire need of attention and the 1×1 had a gearing combination and crank length that was not preferred. I did my best to get the 1×1 in the rolling condition that made me want to ride it. I swapped out the 32×18 gear for a 34×20. I also swapped out the 170 mm crank arms for the 175’s I just stole off of it the week before.
With the bigger then supposed to be wheels on the 1×1 frame, I had to do some chain length changes to get it to fit. With a little bit of work this was completed and I moved on to making the computer work. I then needed to do a little playing and made my bike 47% more awesome by putting on a Backcountry Research Awesome Strap thanks to winning a Team Dicky contest. Now I had a bike that was ready and worthy of riding.
I packed up my gear, figured out what I wanted to wear and headed to French Lick to enjoy the Buffalo Trace Trail. I had planned on getting there a little earlier so I could ride with Ralph, but it just did not work out that way. So, I rode most of the time by myself. The trail was in great condition and there were a few people out enjoying the beautiful day. I did run in to Ralph late in a lap and turned around to follow him on his last loop and chatted a while.
After this I headed back out to ride some more trail. This is where my low point of the day occurred. All things were going good and I guess I was enjoying the scenery too much and not paying close enough attention to what I was doing. I preceded to ride the rock wall feature like I have done almost every time I have ever gone threw there and for some reason the front wheel fell off the wall. This does not go well with riding a bike since it brought me to an screeching halt. I flew over the bars and over the other side of the wall and rolled on the ground. I was quite a ruckus, but did not hurt, or well right away.
As I stood up I could see something red rolling on the ground and it took me a minute to figure out just what it was and at that point my hear sunk. It was my poor Salsa pepper bell. It took the brunt of the crash to save me and lost its life in the process. I was deeply saddened and scrambled around trying to find all of the little parts with the hope of being able to put it back together. But, I think my effort was not good enough.
That little pepper bell has been with me for a several years. I had won it at my first HMBA meeting that I attended. It was the meeting held at ICS where the IMBA folks were speaking. When I got home I held it just right so I could give it a few rings for remembrance and a moment of silence. My handle bars will not be the same. I know I can pick a new one up easy enough, but there was some emotional attachment to this bell and not sure a new one would be the same. I know time will heal, but it will not be forgotten.