Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not Again - There Goes The Bike

I’ve had my new Cannondale Rush 3 Mountain Bike for almost a year. The night before I bought my new bike I did what it seems like every mountain biker has done and completely forgot about my old hard tail Stump Jumper which was on top of my Subaru.

I drove into my Pine Brook Apartment Building in Park City and before I knew it I heard a crash. I turned around and there was my old bike lying about 10 feet behind my car.

The good news was that my Thule Big Mouth bike rack was made to save my bike. The stump jumper was fine – just a few scratches and a tire that was out of true.

The car was also fine, but the rack on the other hand was a bit worse for the wear. The straps had broken off and the tray had a sharp bend in the middle.

But most importantly, my new bike was safe and sound at the bike shop – waiting to get fit specifically to me. I went over to a friend’s house and we spent several hours with a hammer and a few blocks of wood trying to bend the tray back. In the end it wasn’t totally straight but it worked.

After I got my Cannondale I was extremely careful – every time I went anywhere near a garage or over pass, I would get out of my car and make sure that my bike came off the roof.

I honestly thought that it wouldn’t happen again. Now that I had the shiny new bike I would never forget that it was suspended in the air above me – that is until last week.

Last week after the Tuesday Night Team Sugar Ride I went to O’Shucks Bar and Grill. I had a beer and burger and then decided to call it a night.

I remember consciously thinking “okay the bike’s on top,” as I drove back to Pine Brook. But I was tired and had the radio cranked singing to the Oldies Channel. When I got to the apartment I didn’t even connect that the garage door was open and flew right in.

This time I did not get so lucky as to get away without a scratch. Before I even heard the crunch I knew what I was as about to do.

I slammed on the breaks before I hit but that didn’t matter because I couldn’t stop the momentum. There was a shattering of glass and I think I heard the bike flying through the air – even though that sounds crazy.

This time it was worse. This time the $2,500 Mountain Bike was flying – not the $500 hand-me-down.

I jumped out of the car and in retrospect I don’t think I even put it in park (good thing I wasn’t going downhill). I ran over to the bike and picked it up, inspecting the tires, shifters, breaks, derailleur, chain, and frame. I couldn’t believe it - everything at first glance looked fine and I was about to take a deep breath when I felt a piece of glass ping my cheek.

I looked up and there was my back windshield, or at least what was left of it. There was a small amount of glass left around the outside of the frame but most of the glass was actually inside the car in the backseat. I still don’t know exactly what happened because of my 10 second blackout, but my best guess is that when the bike was flying the handle bar was just at the right angle to crash through the glass.

The good new is that the $2,500 Mountain Bike seems to still be in on piece and the rear windshield only took a $100 deductible to fix.

As for the Thule Big Mouth rack, it may have made it through the first run in with my garage, the second time it’s bent beyond repair.

Still – I have to believe that this rack is the one for me, especially since twice in a row the bike came out on top.




Anonymous HighTrail said...

Ouch! Years ago we did the same thing with two road bikes atop my old Saab 900. The impact shoved the entire rack, bikes and all, off the car. I was fortunate that the old Saab had drip rails, to which the rack was clamped. When the rack got pushed off, nothing else was damaged, other than some scratches in the paint on the trunk. the bikes were fine except for a broken rail on my saddle. Near miss.

To avoid a repeat of this we got in the habit of not taking the garage remote with us if we were driving the bikes anywhere. That way we can't drive into the garage without some thought, and getting out of the car. So far, so good...

7/13/2008 11:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch...that's a bummer. I never quite trust overhead bike racks.

7/13/2008 7:12 PM

Blogger powstash said...

I almost pulled the same thing yesteday when pulling into my mother-in-law's carport with my roadie on top. A couple feet shy of disaster I remembered the bike and hit the brakes! Wooosh!

7/14/2008 10:36 AM

Blogger Tim R said...

I've done the same thing, only worse. Had a Cannondale Six13 from the first year they were out with 3 carbon tubes...One new roof rack, after I stopped for food, drove home, and into the garage...5 days before a big ride

Thank goodness for homeowner's insurance! If you have a good bike, and don't have any, you're crazy! With my awesome bike shop(Fraser Bicycle and Fitness, in MI), they had me up and running by the ride. But the crunch of that bike was an awful sound...

7/15/2008 9:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's always a constant fear, especially at the end of a long day and I'm tired. Had a few close calls. Eventually, I started to leave a large object such as a lawn chair or shop vac right in the middle of the garage so I have to get out of the car to move it. When I come home, I always think "Man! Why did someone block my garage entrance!", then when I get out of the car, I see the bike on the roof! Hasn't failed me yet!

7/21/2008 3:03 PM


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