It's not called Chagrin for nothing.
Following my usual bike route, one comes to the intersection of SOM Center Road and Hawthorn Parkway. Turning around there makes a 9 mile ride and avoids the massive hill that lies to the east of SOM.
So, most times, that's what I've done. On a few occasions, however, I've felt up to pressing on. On each attempt, something unpleasant has happened.
Attempt #1: Kris and I had almost just begun to ride for the summer and so we didn't have the oomph to ride back up the hill. We walked.
Attempt #2: Riding alone, I sent both derailleurs to the lowest gear in preparation for the long ride back uphill. The chain jumped clear off the front crank. While attempting to put it back on the sprockets with minimal effort (and mess), I managed to get it wedged down between the frame and the crank. Eventually, pulling with both hands while pushing down the frame with my foot dislodged it and I was able to continue. I would later realize that I broke the sensor for the cycle computer.
Attempt #3: Also with Kris, while travelling on the path, 30MPH downhill around a bend, I saw —far too late— gravel strewn all the way across the path. I hit the brakes for a second, but as soon as I got on the gravel, the wheels locked and I lost control. I was ejected from the vehicle and landed shoulder first (head second: thank you, Mr. helmet), fortunately on the muddy embankment next to the path. I would later realize that I broke the cable which runs from the replaced sensor to the cycle computer.
Attempt #4: Riding alone, I threw the chain again, this time a mere 100 feet from the safety of SOM Center Road. Once again, I managed to get the chain wedged so severely that it took five minutes of work to get it dislodged. I did not, however, break my computer.
I'm not a superstitious person, but I'm seriously beginning to consider not going that way any longer. It just hurts too much.