This will get me laughed out of FGBA (Fixed-Gear Badasses of America), but hear me out. My commute has one measly hill on it, just a couple blocks long, but on my winter 38x17 gear, I'm usually spinning like a gerbil on crack coming down that thing in the morning. Since I'm not terribly mindful of my maintenance in the winter, my chain has developed a little bit of slack. This morning, right when I'd hit terminal velocity, I hit a bump, the chain bounced just right, and there was a symphony of drivetrain noise that could only mean one thing: Thrown chain.
With my brake, I just slowed to a stop, put the chain on, and kept going. Without it, I would have been forced to either...
- Jam my shoe into the studded tire, probably ruining both (assuming I could think fast enough to execute this maneuver on ice without crashing, of course),
- Veer off the road into a crusty snowdrift, probably knocking my loose shoulder out of the socket (and definitely getting a chorus of jeers from the kids waiting for the school bus), or
- Keep coasting and hope that my momentum ran out before I got to the next busy intersection.