This ride was suppose to be a 40+ mile buddy ride. We all have fat bikes and our minds set to start rolling the longer miles. The idea was good but doomed. Pete conflicted with x-mas prep, The sun burst into a heat wave making peanut butter of anything but stone and Duane suffered a massive mechanical that tore the rear derailleur off his bike. We still do not understand what demon stick pushed it into the spokes. It was literally dragging on the ground (or peanut butter by this time) when I returned to find him. He looked confused like the idea of breaking down this badly was beyond reality. We were 14 miles from the cars and 3 from 169.
We removed the derailer and stowed it. Using a chain breaker, we spliced the shortened chain using my spare quick link to make the best aligned single speed but the repair was rubbish. It tossed the chain every 100 yards like a child having a bad day. With no way to tension it and without a slider "drop in" it looked hopeless but we stopped many time to rethink the design to no end.
We covered 3 miles in about 30 minutes for a spouse / broken cyclist recovery. While waiting, I re-spliced the chain. Having nothing to lose now that we where roadside, I pined the chain a tiny bit short for the best sized cog and removed the wheel, chained it and then stretched in into place. It worked perfect! The chain was tight but tracked and spun well. The only thing we'll never know is how long the reused pin was going to hold. If it blew out (in the field), the chain would be too short to reuse and we'd have to push.
The Nates hooked up in the slop real nice but I still had to eat dirt twice on my solo return . First I hooked a tree with the bar ends (think bull horns) and took it to the ground so hard my hip fused hydrogen. I'm very bruised on the right side. The second serving of karma came at a log jam and a muddy tire skating out and leaving me to clutch a tree on the way to the ground like some drunk monkey. When the curtains closed on that crash I has laying on a pile of brush with a stick in my hand and happy to not be in the peanut butter.
I wish I had better pictures for this ride. I'll promise to do better in the future but I'm happy it's over. We also missed the 40 mile goal ending at 35.07 miles.