I got a late start on the Tuesday Night Ride last night and was trying to catch up to the rest of the group. Suddenly, a mean, old branch ambushed me several miles into the Main Trail. It maliciously wedged itself between my rear wheel spokes and my derailleur. Needless to say, my ride came to an abrupt stop. The derailleur was bent at a 90 degree angle sticking through the spokes and a section of the chain was twisted. I tried to bend it back, but it would not budge. Since just changing a tube already pushes the limits of my mechanical skills, I knew that I was royally screwed. The walk back to the parking area was not going to be fun.
Just then, the cavalry came charging through. It was the A-Riders! Nearly everyone in their group asked if things were okay as they passed by me. Garry, Humberto and several other guys circled back to help me. They managed to remove the destroyed derailleur, shorten the chain and convert my bike to a single-speed in a matter of minutes. They did all this while braving a vicious onslaught of very thirsty mosquitoes. Because of them, I was able to ride my bike (slowly) back to the parking area instead of having to walk it.
I want to express my thanks and extreme gratitude to all those who helped me out last night. You guys are all awesome! I can't tell you enough how much I appreciated your help. I'm here to say that SWAMP Club members are some of the greatest folks around.