To be honest, it wasn’t a familiar trail I was riding.

I was exploring new trails when I snagged my brake tubing on a branch. It didn’t look like it was damaged. It looked like it only came out of its retainer. So I kept riding, testing the brakes occasionally to see if any real damage happened. Sure enough, I soon felt the soft feeling hydraulic brakes get when air gets introduced into the system. Soon after that—nothing—no front brakes at all.

Without being on my knees, I said a quick heartfelt prayer and thanked God it was the front brakes; losing the back brakes can mean the end of riding, or the end of the rider, if he doesn’t know he’s lost his brakes. And the idea of walking my bike is heinous to my mind. I wasn’t going to do it.

Have you ever seen kids walking with a skateboard in their hand? Did you then wonder why they don’t just ride it? That’s how I react to the scene.

“Why don’t you just ride it?!”

And that’s what I would tell myself, even though riding without brakes is dangerous. Then I’d do it and think something equally dangerous like, “I’ll just drag my foot on the ground to slow down.”

Yeah, like that would work. Might as well pretend I was going to whip the loose brake tubing around a nearby tree and stop myself that way. And it would work—in my daydreams.

Back in reality, I know I have some work ahead of me. I’m going to have to bleed brakes (again), cut the tubing back to remove any and all holes, and refill (again).

Man, hobbies can be a lot of work, can’t they? But then, the work is part of the allure.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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