It happened when I was wheeling my beach cruiser bicycle from the sidewalk area in front of the Greenhouse grocery store in town onto the road, and I heard what sounded like a metallic crack. It was loud and sounded like more than a "ping". I thought I had slammed my front crankset hard onto the edge of the curb somehow, just not paying attention. A quick look didn't reveal anything obviously broken, so I got on and started riding, with Barry riding behind me.
Hmmmm...what was that "whoosh-whoosh" sound? The bike was riding fine, but something was obviously very wrong. The sound was there even when I stopped pedaling, so that eliminated the crankset as the problem. It was something in the front wheel, but what? Tire wasn't flat. The hub? Then I thought about spokes. I stopped the bike, and Barry and I looked. Of course he saw it first. Yep, a broken spoke. Even though my bike is aluminum, the spokes are apparently just garden-variety steel, not of the stainless variety like Barry's are, and in this harsh marine environment, it had simply rusted through.
I was able to ride the bike far enough to make it to one of the local bike repair shops, but the sound seemed to get louder, and I could see that my front wheel was beginning to wobble as I pedaled along. When we got to the shop and I stopped, we could see that two spokes were actually broken, both on the same side of the wheel. No wonder it was wobbling! I was thankful that this happened today in town and not yesterday when we were riding way up north in Grand Belizean Estates. There are no bike shops, nor much of anything else, up that way.
Fortunately, the friendly bike shop guy had just what we needed and was able to do the repair right away. He commented that our bikes were very nice and we should always lock them up wherever we go. (We do, or one of us stands guard.) Soon after he started working on it, it started raining. It had been beautiful and sunny when we left for town, so we didn't anticipate this sudden shower, but we were able to duck under the tin roof of a no-longer-open local eating hole very close to the shop.
The repair and two spokes cost me $10 BZD ($5 US). Actually, he charged me only $8 BZD, but I gave him $10 for fixing it in the rain and so quickly. Sure beats the cost of a car repair in the US!