Vimperk to Sušice: 'SNAP'... hey, that was my chain breaking mid-stroke! - Dobrý den: A Bohemian Foray (Tour 15) - 2015 🇨🇿 - CycleBlaze

August 20, 2015

Vimperk to Sušice: 'SNAP'... hey, that was my chain breaking mid-stroke!

Hotel Na Pekúrně, Sušice

THOUGH I had paid about $5 for breakfast it was not great. The coffee was crappy and the selection was meagre. I still ate enough for the road, though. We took a peek at the parrot to get him to repeat what we said, but no luck, so we got our things from the room, loaded the bikes and were on the road by 9 am.

I started on a road that was parallel to our route. A really steep climb through towering pines that were gorgeous. However, it was steep, so we did a good bit of walking straightaway. The beauty of the road was worth it, though.

WHAT a strong day today. Using BikerouteToaster I was able to check out the upcoming undulations in the route. There were a couple of fairly big climbs followed by a long, long, long descent into Sušice. Awesome, yet yikes just the same.

Well, the climb started right away. Up, up and up, but by now the legs were all strong so it did not actually seem that bad and down went the road. First climb completed.

Along came another with no walking at all. Switchbacks through pretty pastoral landscapes. Plenty of traffic, but as long as we kept consistent and predictable on the road, all went well. The route came to a point where it bobbled a bit, which usually means it is the crest of the hill. Sure enough!!

Suddenly the road turned down - through more beautiful pine forests and along a river that for a change was flowing down with us. No more of these optical illusions where it looks like a descent but the river is flowing up!

Once up the steepest part of the climb, the road eventually met the busy highway and we were amongst the cars and trucks again. This part of the climb was long, but steady and not too steep so we did not have to walk. Just shy of 900 m elevation, the road turned down and we raced back to just over 700 m. All the while we meandered through villages, forests and alpine meadows.

We started to climb again til we were just under 900 m again, then down we went again. This time it kept going down. In one forest alongside a campground we noticed a German pillbox from WW II. Stopping to take photographs, we could see they had both directions of the road protected from invaders.

MA had dropped her sunglasses so I waited while she went to get them. Once she was coming back down I stepped on my pedals to get going and 'snap'. I looked down to see that I no longer had a chain - there it was up the road by the side. Hoping it was only the chain, I looked things over and it appeared to be so.

Out came my multi-tool, fingers crossed that it was as good as a regular chain tool. I pushed out the pins, took out the broken link and re-joined the chain. So far so good. plus, MA had a pair of nitrile gloves so my hands remained clean. Within the span of fifteen minutes we were back on the road and away. In case of other bad links, I changed gears gingerly and made my pedal strokes lighter. Either way, most of the final six kilometres were coasting downhill and before 1:30 pm we were in the town and to a bike shop to buy a new chain for about CAD$20. I won't put it on unless I need to, though. the shop owner offered to do it but the chain has a quick link so I can do it myself on the road if need be.

- Zdikov, Czechia
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- Kašperske Hory, Czechia
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- Kašperske Hory, Czechia
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Snap went the chain. First ever that I have snapped a chain. Ever.
- near Sušice, Czechia
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I stopped a few times for pics through the forests and then something really interesting. A cement bunker was beside the road. On both sides of the bunker were slots facing either way along the road. German bunkers guarding the highway presumably from WW 2. Very interesting.

After checking out the bunker, I stepped on my pedal to continue... and SNAP... what was that? I looked down to see that I no longer had a chain ... and there it was in a pile back up the hill a bit. Oh oh.

I took out the broken link with the chain tool, fed the chain through the gears and popped the link back in. It works fine but I bought a new chain in town in case there are more bad links.
- near Sušice, Czechia
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I walked back up wondering if I would be able to get out of this one. I have NEVER, in thirty years of touring, broken a chain or even heard of anyone breaking a chain. I never carry my dedicated chain breaker, but my CPR-14 multi-tool does have one. I have used the tool to tighten nuts and bolts but never to work on the chain. This would be a definite first - especially on the road.

I carefully pushed out a pin and then another to remove the offending bent link - again, thanks to the fine care of the airline on the way over. Bad link out, I re-built the chain. The tool worked, the pin went in, so I gingerly set off. Luckily, the road was still downhill so I was able to gradually apply for pressure to the pedals. the chain held. A few km from our hotel the road flattened so considerable pressure was applied to the pedals. The chain held. We arrived into the city with no further problems, but I was still on the lookout for a bike shop. About a block before our hotel there was a bike shop and the very pleasant fellow sold me a chain. I was going to install the new chain but figured for the time being I might as well continue with the old one. No need to goop up my hands for nothing.

- Sušice, Czechia
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The hotel ended up being quite pleasant and they were able to store our bikes in the back in a secure lockup. With the bikes out of the way, we had lunch at the hotel restaurant then headed out to explore the town centre and have a delicious lime ice cream.

I am not sure if it was the tasty chicken lunch I had or the ice cream, but by late night I was REALLY sick to my stomach. So my hours in this pleasant city were not the best!

Today's ride: 40 km (25 miles)
Total: 276 km (171 miles)

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