I’ve suffered a frozen freehub just once, on my old Diatech-hubbed Marin Muirwoods during a particularly cold snap.
It’s the strangest sensation. You’re happily riding along when suddenly, after a bit of downhill freewheeling you go to pedal and… nothing. Pedalling like a loon squares badly with the fact that you are slowing down and going nowhere fast. And then it sinks in – just how are you going to get home now?
Fortunately when it happened to me I had my mates with me who could push me all the way to Rykas at Box Hill where a cup of hot water from the cafe and a squirt of WD40 from one of the motorbikers got me on my way again.
Thankful for this redemption it nonetheless got me wondering out loud about what I would have done if I was on my own. ‘Pee on it’ was the reply from one of my more pragmatic mates and to be honest that’s probably what I would have had to have done to get the bike moving again.
Recently I’ve discovered Jill’s blog, Up in Alaska, which details her preparations for riding the Iditarod Invitational, billed as the world’s longest human powered winter race, 350 miles across Alaska. Her latest article tells of her own encounter with a frozen hub.
I couldn’t help thinking back to the advice of my mate if she really had been stranded ten miles from home in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately she didn’t have to resort to such desperate measures although it seems she was more than ready to!
As an aside, the pictures on her site are awesome (here’s a selection of Jill’s Alaskan riding photos). Guess that’s another addition to the list of places I’d like to Mountain Bike in the future, although I’d probably prefer the summer riding…