... pay attention to them. I decided it was too nice of a day not to spend part of it on a bike. Feeling averse to setting up my road bike, I decided to give the Smithville Trails a shot. I figured they would be a little wet, but that they'd be at least descent.
As I got everything ready to go, I realized I didn't have my mountain bike shoes. Apparently, I left them at the office Wednesday night after a ride downtown. Not the brightest thing I guess, as $230 shoes should probably be accounted for most of the time. I decided to use my road bike shoes, they're practically the same as my mountain bike shoes, they just don't have any tread for walking around. If you're pedaling, that's fine, but they're not very good for hiking off-road. Not having the right shoes was sign number one.
Once I drove the 30 minutes up to the trail head and got started, my chain was making a ton of noise. It's just like any other mechanical system, it needs to be lubed. I haven't ridden my 29'er for several weeks and the chain was bone dry - something I didn't realize until I was half an hour from the house without any lube. This was sign number two.
Probably 2/3rd's of the trails were fine, but that other third was really slick and messy. There were a few sections that I had to bypass on foot - with my road shoes, mind you, that have absolutely no tread. That was sign number three.
Three signs, three stars in Orion's belt, three deities in the Holy Trinity, three sides to a triangle, three days from Good Friday to Easter, three degrees to become a Master Mason - I should have seen the signs and hightailed it back to the car.
I was about 30 minutes in to my ride on trails that were questionable with a squeaky chain and my road bike shoes and it happened. The chain, which had been complaining profusely for half an hour decided it had enough. The power-link gave out - the first time I've ever had one of them fail on me. I decided not to try to fix the chain, as it would just weaken the chain when a $3 or $4 powerlink will make the chain as good as new.
So, my day in the woods riding my bike turned into a nice hike in shoes that aren't very comfortable to walk in. Could have been worse, but still... when road blocks keep popping up out of the blue, it's probably a good idea to pay a little attention to them. Sometimes its just not in the stars to do what you want to.