The other day I found myself almost stuck, in almost the middle of nowhere.
My front derailleur had seized up and I was really struggling to change between the big and little ring. Not a major issue on any other ride but I’d planned an undulating route that should have seen me covering somewhere closer to 1000m of climbing in around 80km riding. I needed both chain rings.
I’ve met the guys in Westerham Cyclery a couple of times on club runs. They have a great little cafe, enough space for everyone from the club to fit and they offer great service. Its a cafe which is run by cyclists for cyclists. The coffee is good and the cake is good, they know exactly what we want, and we know to pre-warn them if we are heading in their direction. It can get quite busy on a weekend morning but luckily I was alone on this particular Saturday morning spin.
I knew I couldn’t complete my ride with the bike in the state it was (yes, it was my fault the derailleur had seized. No, I don’t take good enough care of my bike) so I decided to pull in to the cafe. My problem was soon explained and the bike soon in the workshop. This whole situation sounds pretty normal for now, but they were also swamped with having one club just leave and Sidcup Cycles turn up at around the same time as me. Luckily my bike was in getting serviced, and I was free to enjoy an espresso whilst I waited. The whole thing took no more than 15 minutes from me stopping to being back out on the road.
For me, Westerham is a long way to go for a bike service, but if I ever have a mechanical in the area again, I know exactly where I will be heading.