My bike is falling apart. Is seems like every time I turn around something else breaks – I have no idea how I’ll make it another 7000 km.
Today it was my seat post clamp (the tiny little thing that holds your seat at the desired height, for you non-bikers out there). I noticed yesterday that my seat had shrunk a big, so this morning I raised it up. A few kilometers later it was down again.
“I must not have tightened it enough,” I thought. I pulled out my allen wrenches to tighten it – and the clamp disintegrated!
I rode the last fifteen km into town with my seat all the way down – like riding a tiny kids’ bike. My knees nearly hit my chin with each pedal stroke. I had to walk up even tiny little hills.
As soon as we pulled into town I deposited John and the boys at a hostel and took off to find a bike mechanic. Found the shop no problem, but wasn’t there. I waited. A lot. He still didn’t show up. Eventually I gave up and headed back to my boys.
It was pitch black when I knocked on his door again and he agreed to go to the hostel to look at my bike. I figured we would end up with massive amounts of duct tape and wire holding it together.
“I think I might be able to find something,” he said after inspecting the broken piece. “I’ll be back in twenty minutes.”
And then – get this! – twenty minutes later he showed up with a seat post clamp! Somewhere he found an old bike and took it off – it worked! It was a bit too small, but creative use of a pliers and an extra-long bolt solved the problem.
So – it looks like my bike is good to go. We just hope it holds – which I think it will. “This old one is made of aluminum – no wonder it broke, the mechanic said. “This one is metal!”
Kilometers today: 52
Kilometers to date: 20564
It’s really cold in the mornings, so we are typically waiting until about 8 before starting out. For some reason we started early this morning – wish we had waited!
Taking a break – it’s soooo different here than it was along the coast!
We had no idea it was the weekly market day when we pulled into Juli. We had planned to go to the plaza to a restaurant to eat, but couldn’t get there due to all the people. We ended up getting some street food and watching the market!
I got some chicken and corn at a street stall.
Faces of Juli
Lake Titicaca with snow-capped Andes Mountains. Gorgeous!