A document with the word caa on it.

May 28, 2015

6 min. read

Today’s post comes from Mark Weinstein, a loyal CAA Member who needed a helping hand while on an epic cycling journey. Read Mark’s story below, in his own words.

Last summer, I cycled 9,000 km from Toronto, ON to St. John’s, NL to Key West, FL. After passing 900 km of glorious cycling, I had what I think would qualify as my first official bad day. That said, it was certainly an eventful day, and what I learned about bad days is that they can provide photo opportunities that you would never expect. The following is an excerpt from that day.

Louiseville, QC to Pontneuf, QC. Today got off to a great start. So great that I figured putting in 60 km by noon would be easy. Then, at around 11:15 a.m., the day took a turn for the worse when I heard the very distinctive sound of a spoke breaking. I feel I can safely say that it was a “distinctive” sound because I’d never actually heard it before, but when it happened I knew exactly what it was.

A close up of a bicycle's rear wheel.

My initial reaction was to ignore it. I mean, denial is the first step. As such, I continued on for a few more kilometres, mainly to find a decent place to stop and confirm the damage. The decent place turned out to be a “Casse-Croute” just east of Champlain, where I was able to check the bike and get my daily poutine fix. A quick inspection revealed a broken spoke on the rear tire, drive side. This was going to be a problem. So, after wallowing in the moment (for longer than I should have) I did the only thing I could think of. I called CAA Bike Assist. I really wasn’t sure how the conversation would go but they were very helpful and, after spending just a few minutes determining my location, they dispatched a truck.

Tick, tick, tick. 45 minutes later a truck (slightly larger than necessary) arrived. Moments after that, my bike was secured to the truck and we were on our way to a local bike shop in Trois-Rivières where the story came to a happy conclusion. At least, I’m sure it would have if the local bike shop was open on Sundays. Sigh. Fortunately, I was able to avoid a fate of spending the night in the parking lot thanks to a kind woman working at a neighbouring store. She pointed me in the direction of an alternate bike shop that was open until 4:00 p.m.

After a mad dash, I arrived at the bike shop at 3:45 p.m.  Fifteen minutes and “douze dollares” later I once again had a road-worthy bike and was pedalling towards Pontneuf … where I would encounter my next problem.

Read Mark’s full story here.

A bike with a backpack on the ground next to a sign.
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