A bit late posting this one – not sure where the time goes sometimes. This ride was about a month ago.
There is nothing quite like being stuck on the side of the road for over 5 hours, in the dark and waiting for help. It gets the brain working. I realized that I have become too complacent with certain things, too “busy” for other things and it was time to take a step back.
I really didn’t want to go to the PanAm baseball game, not sure why, I just didn’t feel like going. Sine I had been moping around the house all day I figured I would just get on with it, get out, meet my friend and have a night out. The game was out in Ajax which meant a bit of a ride for me, which always makes me feel better.
I didn’t feel great about paying $10 each for parking at the game, same price as the cars, and then not getting our choice of spot. We parked on the grass and as soon as I put the bike on the center stand it started to sink, then it fell over, ever so slowly. It fell over so slowly and so gently that had I been just a bit closer I could have prevented the fall. I wasn’t really concerned about damage and took the opportunity to show my friend the new technique I learned for picking up a fallen bike. I felt strong. I quickly looked over the bike and didn’t see any damage. I should have looked more closely. The parking guys pointed us to a spot we could park that had a firm surface. Riding the bike over to the new parking spot I did notice that the handle bars seemed bent a bit more than usual but otherwise the bike seemed fine. I should have taken the time to look more closely.
It was dark when we left the game, and I really didn’t give my bikes fall another thought. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I did notice that things didn’t feel right, the bike was sluggish. Once on the pavement this stopped and I was going at normal speeds. I got about 1 kilometer away from the venue my bike started to slow down, as if the brakes were being applied, I really couldn’t see anything as it was pitch black out and there were not street lights on the road I was on. I wanted to pull over and was looking for a safe spot. The next thing I felt was the bike coming to a stop, it was like someone grabbled a fist full of front brake. I was doing 70 km/hr at this point and it felt as if the rear tire lifted up off the ground. Smoke started pouring out from the front of the bike and I it took everything I had to steer the bike to the edge of the road.
My friend was leading the ride and didn’t notice that I wasn’t behind him, but I knew he would be back. Cars passed me, honked and honked, one guy felt in necessary to yell at me to move off the road, but nobody thought to ask if I was OK, or if I needed help. My friend eventually come back and we managed to move the bike off the road a bit further onto the shoulder, if the front brakes totally seized this was no easy task.
Now the decision as to what to do next. I could really see the damage and this was the first time I started feeling like I had been too complacent. I did not bring my tank bag on this ride, I almost always bring my tank bag, it contains my first aid kit, a flashlight, some food, a multi-tool and other necessities. No flashlight made it hard to check the damage, no multi-tool made it hard to fix anything. Why did I leave without my tank bag? I decided to call CAA and have the bike towed, there was no way I could do anything here at the side of the road. CAA said they would be about one hour.
It would be 5.5 hours before the CAA truck would show up. It wasn’t wasted time, I actually went into some sort of Zen state and thought about a lot of things, despite the fact that my friend kept growing more impatient and distracting with his pacing and wanting to harass CAA. I need to make more time for the important things.