Not the sound I wanted to hear as I was grinding my way up a hill. The pedals immediately started spinning freely which meant I had snapped my chain. I stopped, looked down and saw that the chain had broken right at the power link area. I thought to myself: no problem, the power link broke. I have an extra power link in my pack. I’ll replace it and be on my way. Before I began the hike to the top, I did a quick look around just anything else had fallen off. Nothing I could see.
I hiked the bike up to the top of the climb and pulled out my new power link. I took the chain off the bike and began examining it and realized that yes, it had broken at one of the power link… but it had broken there because one of the inner rollers had broken as well. Now the only way I would be able to put the power link on would be to break the chain. Then I got the sinking feeling in my stomach. The tool I had on me does not have a chain breaker. Doh!
So, I ended up walking/pushing my way to the car 4 miles away. Thankfully there were no more climbs. On the way back there was a woman walking two cocker spaniels. I was sitting on the bike and pushing along with my legs, not going very fast. My rear hub was spinning and making its normal ticking sound. I was closing in on her but too slowly by her count. She ended up stopping and looking back at me quizzically and even waiting until I passed by. I decided to relieve her fears and told her “broken chain”. I’m sure she felt better knowing I wasn’t stalking her.
The moral of the story: buy a multi-tool with a chain breaker on it.