For fifty-three minutes, it all went swimmingly. A relatively gradual ascent over the first six kilometers, past the high school, onto the big loop. And then, three-fourths of the way around said loop, it all fell apart. And by "it all," I mean "the chain on the bike." At first, I thought it had simply dislodged, so I braked in anticipation of simply putting it back on the gear and continuing on. But before I could get fully stopped, I heard another noise. The next two places I looked were down at the bike, where I failed to see the chain - and ten feet behind me, where I saw the chain...and it wasn't a closed loop. A problem, to be sure. The issue was compounded by my cell phone not being on my person; I left it home due to fear of it dropping out of my pocket.
So here I am, six miles from home, with a bicycle that's useless on any stretch of pavement that's not downhill, and without any way to contact anyone who could get me. No sense sulking about it...it was time to start walking. The only decision was whether to detour off the intended course to a local cycle shop and pick up a replacement chain. At this point, I simply wanted to get myself and the bike home - and given that much of the remaining distance was downhill, it probably would not have been worth it. I have no idea how long it took to walk/coast that distance, but I do know I hope to never have to do it again.
I picked up a new chain yesterday. I haven't yet attached it; I have spent the past two days engaging in more important pursuits. Which is somewhat amazing, because I've hardly been engaging in any pursuits lately.