Saturday, June 26, 2010

The bike

I don't usually elaborate too about the equipment I happen to be using, for me they are just tools, a mean to an end and in no way should they ever be the focal point of any endeavor they are a part of. But given how the bike have dictated many of memorable experiences on this particular ride, I feel I am obligated to reminiscent a bit about my poor old Trek touring bike.

This bike was an replacement of my first touring bike that was stolen in Granada Spain, and it has performed admirably for the past 11 years and well over 15 000 kms spanning several continents. So much so that I have completely neglected the fact that machine do age and do require regular cares. That was certainly very true with my saddle bags. They are more than 20 years old and the company made them is no longer making them. Though they still sort of working, but the rigorousness of the road have taken their toll and they will be put to retirement at the end of this ride, unless I can somehow rejuvenated them back to their former glory.

Given how trusty my riding equipments have been, I did not spend too much time inspecting all my equipments before setting out for this ride. To a point that I even neglecting to change to semi worn tires, thinking they should be good enough for this relatively small ride. Big mistake.

So this is a brief compilation of all that went wrong with the bike as associated equipments.
Both tire were replaced, one in Costa Rica, one is El Salvador. Rear rim was cracked, had the spokes realigned and trued once before swap it to the front where the load is significantly lighter.
I had more punctures on this ride than any of my previous rides, maybe just bad luck but I almost exhausted all my puncture patches and is now down to just two healthy spare tubes. had to replaced the bike chain and the freewheel hub body is about to go. Replaced the rear brake pads. Both rear bike panniers also experience break downs as the plastic back panel final gave away due to old age. The rain covers for both pannier is long lost its ability to keep rain out. The front derailleur do not shift up to the large chain ring despite all the effort in adjusting it.

Let see what else have gone wrong, oh, the MSR stove sprung a fuel leak the first day, the flash light has severe battery leak and despite my best effort in cleaning it, it worked on and off through out the trip. Both turtle blinking lights' batteries decide to die out together. It made the few tunnel crossing quite hairy as I rode in almost total darkness.

Moral of the story, make sure everything works and working well before embarking on any journey, luck favors those who are well prepared.

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