Before long there was a foul exclamation and Cleetus stopped to view his now extremely dislocated rear derailleur which was jammed between the spokes in a most unnatural position. His non-replaceable steel drop-out was also looking very munted. We were in a quandry. What would Bear Grylls do? It was way too cold to pee on our tee shirts and make a bandana so I elected to break the chain and make a singlespeed to hopefully get us home.
After 10 minutes we eventually found the power-link in the mud covered chain and we removed the rear derailleur. Cleetus related to me a belief that it might be possible to realign his drop-out to a usable level by leveraging it between two branches in a tree.
It sounded far-fetched to me, but anything was worth a go. Low and behold there just happened to be several trees near-by, one of which was a good fit. 10 minutes later the whole thing was reassembled and we scrambled up the short-cut to the firebreak to continue our ride.
We decided to keep it safe and leave the gear changing to a minimum but had to ride down the Snail Trail at least a couple of times. Its a very fun trail on a rigid bike and I was really enjoying the control on the “wide-as” Woodchipper bars. I always assumed that they were a disadvantage to Cleetus, but I am well and truly convinced now that they are not.
We shot up Jungle Gym and Directors and down the Wainui Hill to finish off an eventful day.