Was riding home today, coming up on the busiest intersection (Lee and 17-92) when I heard this repeating noise, not quite a hiss, not quite a click, sorta like a something stuck to the tire or flapping against the supports. Put my head down as I took the sidewalk at the corner to wait for the light (call me a coward, but drivers come around that curve like Ben Hur in a chariot). Looked it over but couldn’t see anything wrong. Kicked off when I had the cross light, heard the noise again. Strange.
Pulled over on the other side, well off the road in a shady alcove of a building. Lifted the bike and spun the tire. Not quite a noise. Couldn’t place what was wrong. Then I saw it – one of the bolts holding my back rack (which my twenty pound saddlebags were clipped to) had backed out and was just hanging. The whole rack was about to shift. While it wouldn’t have fallen off, the support strut might have come loose and slipped between the spinning spokes. That would be a like that StarWars scene where the Ewoks clotheslined a trooper off his speeder.
Fortunately I have limited tools, including those hex-bolt wrench things. Reached down into the bag, past my sweaty towel and dank underwear (complements of the morning ride) and fetched out the tools. Spun it on nice and tight. Made sure the rear brakes and fenders were lined. Was back on the road in five minutes – highball.
I’m not going to think that the bike had somehow “warned me”. It’s an inanimate object. But all the same, I appreciated the heads up.