Getting a flat or having a mechanical breakdown while out on a ride is never the best, it either knocks you out of your riding groove while you fix your bike or it completely tanks your ride and makes you very crabby the rest of the day!
In the situation that your ride is completely tanked there have always been three options to get home.
If you were riding with a group, someone would ride home or back to where the group started from and got a car and came to pick you up. This always resulted in you owing that person a beer later and being harassed by the group.Stick your thumb out and hitch a ride, usually this is not to bad, other cyclists will usually stop and pickup a fallen brother or sister. There is the odd time that someone stops to pick you up, but you have to ride in the back of their truck, you’re all excited and happy until you realize that you will be sharing that space with 3 pigs … trust me.Call home or a friend, with cell phones today you are pretty much guaranteed that you will be able to get someone (spouse, parents, co-worker, gardener) to come out and get you.
For those that the last three options are not an option there is a fourth option, a Hail Mary!
Call CAA! Did you know that if you have an automobile association membership they will come out and either try and fix your bike on the spot or give you and your bike a lift home or to the closest bike shop? What a great service (wish I knew this two weeks ago, so I didn’t have to walk 12 blocks in my road shoes) no more hitching a ride or calling home and disturbing your spouse while they are trying to have a relaxing afternoon.
One thing to note, make sure your membership is up to date, nothing worse than standing on the side of the road with a broken down bike and trying to renew your membership.