Rode to Island Cycles after putting spare tire on battered rim, a distance of about 5 miles. I had used the Michelin city tire was on briefly before I opted for Marathons. That brought a spare at all seemed like overkill, but clearly proved to be a good idea.
Island Cycle was busy with rentals initially despite persistent drizzle. John, the co-owner (with his wife) and local bicycle and para-surfing guru, arrived after the initial rush and was highly apologetic. No reason to be. I wasn’t going anywhere! He examined my rear wheel which Bikes and More had built with my Shimano Deore hub and a Salsa cyclocross rim. His assessment? “I’ve never seen a rim break like that.” In a dozen or so places where the spokes joined the rim the spokes met the rim were cracks, each about an inch long. He said he’d seen similar cracks, but never more than one or two. He had no explanation. We spoke to Keith at Bikes and More. He was prepared to send a rim if one was not available at Island Cycles.
So, the facts are; the wheel is damaged beyond repair, a new rim is available, but not immediately, there is no explanation for the damage and I will be here for a few days.
This started as a germ of an idea several years ago, grew to a mind consuming event and then became reality has become even more. Processing what has become a life changing event is even more consuming than the preparation and anticipation. Just dealing with the coincidence of wheel failure so close to someone I could call upon and to a competent bike shop is enough for one day’s thought.