Every once in a great while, the Mechanical Gods cut a big slice out of the humble pie, glop some hubris on top, and force-feed it to me. Here's a prime example:
Ugh. Just looking at that photo again makes me throw up in my mouth a little. What you are seeing is one end of a no-longer-produced-and-increasingly-rare/somewhat-coveted Salsa Bell Lap handlebar. I picked it up as part of a long-forgotten Craigslist bike purchase (seeing a trend from my last post?), but at the time of purchase, it didn't look like it had lost a battle with a rechargeable drill. In fact, it was nigh on pristine, a real survivor.
So what happened? Near as I can figure, when I installed brake levers on the bar, the mounting bolts were too long and protruded out the back side of the clamp, drilling into the bar before they could sufficiently tighten the levers. How was I so stupid and ham-fisted that I couldn't feel that happening? I have no idea. The multiple puncture wounds tell me that I was that stupid and ham-fisted not once, not twice, but thrice (and the not-pictured other end of the bar provided evidence of yet another thrice).
Thankfully, I was struck by the urge to swap these bars to another bike and discovered my stupidity before putting too many miles on them in this condition. Talk about the mother of all stress risers... it wouldn't have taken too many cycles of my girthy torso flexing them to snap the ends right off and send a mouthful of expensive dental work to the pavement. I took a hacksaw to them multiple times before throwing them in the trash just to ensure that they will never grace a bicycle and risk someone's life and limb again.