How often do you need rescuing?

How often do you need to be rescued from a mechanical on average?

  • once in every 100 miles

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • once in every 1,000 miles

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • once in every 10,000 miles

    Votes: 14 14.4%
  • once in every 100,000 miles

    Votes: 19 19.6%
  • less often or never been rescued

    Votes: 61 62.9%

  • Total voters

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Only once

Broke my chain about four miles from home and had no mobile signal. I was walking along the road when a passing motorist stopped, he turned out to be a cyclist and loaded the bike in the back and drove me home.

We used to see each other fairly regularly after that then he just disappeared and I assumed he'd moved away. Passing his house only last week I pulled up and asked the woman who was coming out of the gate if she knew where the previous occupant, Derrick, had gone. It turned out she was his wife and he had died of a heart attack ten years ago while out on a ride :sad:


Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
"Rescued" means needing assistance to get home/other destination, be it cab, lift, train, RAC, army lorry, whatever.
I assumed you mean "needing" rather than "accepting". A couple of times I've thrown the towel in because the weather's miserable, it's the umpteenth puncture and I ran out of farks to give so I accepted the lift from someone with a bike rack or big car.

I don't think I've ever really needed rescuing but I have carried a bike home at least once, when the front wheel bearing failed and jammed. Riding it more would have cut nice deep dropouts by spinning the axle, or more likely destroyed the axle :eek:

It doesn't include having your bike fixed by a companion or passer by.
Not my bike, but a ride companion did once ride to buy a tyre from a nearby bike shop after someone's tyre failed about 25 miles away from home. I was pretty impressed that a small village had a bike shop open on a Sunday.


Kilometre nibbler
From reading this I guess there are - as ever - varying attitudes. Some people aren't bothered by the idea of phoning home (and "home" is quite prepared to respond), it's no big deal to make the call. Other people regard it as a badge of honour that every single inch of a planned ride must be completed by bike, come what may.

Personally I don't have a home rescue service, but I'm perfectly happy to get the train. I'm fortunate in that where I ride there are plenty of railway lines - and when I plan a long ride I make it my business to know where all the stations along the route are, and whether there are engineering works, what the bike policy is etc. I do try to be fully prepared though, with a chain tool, two inner tubes, puncture kit, tyre boots, tools, etc. but as soon as things begin to go a bit Pete Tong - eg if I use both spare inner tubes - I tend to decide that today is not my day, turn the bike to the nearest station, and start planning my next ride. Trains are part of cycling for me.

Obviously others differ, which is how it should be.


Legendary Member
None so far. Walked 10 miles after a snapped chain. (Now carry tool and quick link). Cycled home after smashing my collar bone into 3 bits with the sharp end almost through the skin.
There's a theme running through this thread. Cyclists with serious injuries, health issues get themselves home first and then call for medical assistance.

It's on par with following a crash "Is the bike OK?" and "Is my Garmin off?"

Anyways we've reached The Retirement Thread......:laugh::laugh:


Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Other people regard it as a badge of honour that every single inch of a planned ride must be completed by bike, come what may.
Not really the case for me. It's just that it'll often be a long wait for rescue, so probably quicker to fix the bike and ride home. It'll need fixing at some point anyway and even just tying up broken cables and riding on slowly is a start towards a proper fix.

I'm fortunate in that where I ride there are plenty of railway lines
Yep. We used to have plenty of railway lines. Now there are just two near me and one of them only carries sand and royalty. A couple of bits of the others are cycleways but most are lost to us for now.


Legendary Member
I think the only time I've been rescued was when I was hit by a bus in West Brom (early 90s) and my bike was a 'write off'. I was heading to work, used to take bike on train from Stafford to Sandwell then ride up to the hospital. Wife drove over from Stafford to pick me up.

Don't think I've ever been rescued for a mechanical, I started cycling in 1973. Always carry tube, chain link, tyre-boot and multi-tool.

I'm amazed at the number of people in the local club who phone for help after a puncture :ohmy:
Never, in 33 years of cycling, over 100,000 miles.
Not really had that many issues beyond punctures and the odd broken spoke though.


Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
Only "rescued" twice in 28,000 miles so far.

No.1: Ten miles from home when I sheared a pedal off and phoned the missus for a lift home rather than ride ten miles with only one pedal. She has never forgotten the incident, and has probably told every one of our friends about it since! Next time I'm getting home one legged.

No.2: Heard a ping soon after starting to descend the Col de la Forclaz near Annecy. Watched in horror as my front brake pad flew in an arc to my right and disappeared over the mountainside. Then thirty seconds of panic as I had to apply the front brake metal-on-metal ..... sparks flying from the rim, horrible scraping and juddering and very little noticeable deceleration. A brief inspection of my front wheel when I finally managed to stop (which involved taking some of the rubber off my heels), and there were three distinct metal burrs reminiscent of the initial disastrous attempt at my first year school metalwork project. I started walking downhill .... missing out on a brilliant descent after putting in such an effort on the climb. Riding down that monster was just not an option for a twenty stoner with only one brake. After about a mile, a minibus pulled up and offered a lift down to the valley bottom. I wasn't about to turn it down. It turns out that accepting lifts along mountain roads from mad Austrian minibus drivers can be every bit as scary as cycling down them with missing brakes. I think that guy must have driven the same route several times a day every day of the hang gliding season, and he cut every corner, practically skimmed every cliff face and narrowly avoided every road edge bollard on the way down breaking the speed limit all the way. You know those little grab handles you get in all cars and vans, just above the door .... that you never ever use? Well I used mine that day! My knuckles were white by the time I got out. Should have carried on walking.

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
East Devon
I have in the past broken the odd spoke, had a bottom bracket come loose, exploded a rim. The only time I didn't continue was in the early 80s sometime when a minicab turned right across my path and I cannoned into it. The driver apologised and offered me a lift, which I accepted. The bike was completely bent. I then sued him for damages through the CTC.
South East
Never been rescued, and had only 1 issue on the way back from Portsmouth on the tandem, during one of Goodwoods Festival of Speed weekend.
A Vulcan bomber was doing an air display, and we decide quite quickly to stop at a very close gap in the hedgerow to watch, but during the hasty slowdown and down change, dropped the rear mech into the spokes, damaging 6 or 8 spokes and rendering the mech and wheel knackered.
We’d got to within 4 miles of home cycling, and walked the rest!


Legendary Member

First time came off my bike riding home from work. Phoned our lass to get her to pick me up, told her I was fine, but didn't want to carry on riding. Ended up needing stitches in my elbow.

Second time had the chain snap on me half way round a 100 miler. Got the missus to come pick me up, swapped bikes, rode back out to where the chain snapped and carried on the ride

I have got myself home with a broken crank ended up walking about 4 miles; again with a broken pedal - rode 8 miles on just the spindle to the bike shop. Done countless spokes that haven't stopped me getting myself home.


Kilometre nibbler
I've remembered another one. Had to be rescued by my dad for some reason, I forget why. Puncture probably. Don't remember how old I was. 12 or 13 maybe. I do very distinctly remember that his bad shoulder (rugby injury) was playing him up when he put the bike in the car, which put him in ill humour.
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