I was just riding into a center turn lane getting ready to make a left and completely focused on the oncoming traffic, when I simultaneously felt a little bump and heard a hellish clank. I stopped immediately. Still in the center lane, I checked out my bike and noticed what I would later learn was some sort of heavy duty locking clamp used by big trucks to lock down cargo woven in amongst the spokes of my back wheel. Traffic was very light that Sunday, so I was able to safely carry my bike across the street to the safety of a patch of grass in front of a little shopping center.
As I examined my predicament I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to untangle the mess in my spokes on my own. My heart was thumping a little harder than usual but otherwise I was calm. I had my phone and I had my AAA card so help wasn’t too far away. Ironically, my bike shop sat just across the street but was closed on Sundays. Figures. Just as I was about to call Ira, an employee of the Dewey Griffin auto dealership saw what happened and came over to help. I turned my bike upside down and held it while he deftly removed the offending object from the spokes. He told me what the twisted piece of metal was and introduced himself as Jonathon. We both gave my bike a once over and all my spokes were intact. Miraculously, there appeared to be no structural damage at all. I thanked Jonathon profusely. To be on the safe side, I spent several minutes riding around in an empty parking lot testing brakes and gears. Satisfied that everything was working like it was supposed to, I continued on my ride.
Five miles later I was home where Ira and went over my bike again. Except for a couple of nasty dings on the frame, everything was fine. I was a bit greasy from handling my bike and my bike will need a touch up paint job in spots. It could have been a lot worse.