Disaster, but could’ve been worse (Fitz Roy, Argentina)

Disaster only takes a split second – so fast. Way too fast.

It was a pretty yucky day today.  A slight headwind and many miles of climbing. And then it started to rain just as we crested the top of our second big climb of the day and headed out onto a plateau.

We raced toward to Fitz Roy, hoping to get there before the rain started falling more heavily – it was only a light drizzle at that point.  The headwind had eased up when the rain began, so we took off barreling down the road trying to reach shelter.

And then it happened.  A truck whizzed past… John tried to get over onto the shoulder… His wheel caught on the edge of the pavement…  The tandem went down.  BAM!  They crashed into the gravel shoulder of the road.

The casualties?  John’s arm is pretty seriously scraped – a couple of deep gashes where some pebbles made contact.  And his brake/shifter lever disintegrated.  Fortunately, Daryl was completely unharmed.

We limped into town and managed to find a very nice, cheap cabaña, so we’re out of the rain and in a warm, comfy room.  We’ll stay here at least one more night to rest up a bit.

As for John’s bike – his plan at this point is to disconnect his drum brake and reroute his functional brake lever to his front brake.  Daryl will continue to be in control of the rear cantilever brake.  They won’t be able to shift the front derailleur, but we’re hoping we won’t have a whole lot of hills left – they can manually shift it if we have a big hill.

Maybe in Rio Gallegos in 625 km we’ll be able to get it fixed…

Kilometers today:  76
Kilometers to date:  26658
Distance remaining:  1225

Rodside shirine

Cycling the Atlantic coast

Cycling in rain

Cycling in the rain

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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16 Responses to Disaster, but could’ve been worse (Fitz Roy, Argentina)

  1. Kara February 17, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Who’s “they” – John and your son? The way it’s written, sounds like the truck AND John went off the road.

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  2. nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Got it fixed Kara – it was just the tandem that went down. The truck driver wasn’t even aware that anything happened.

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  3. Grand Canyon Harry February 17, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Glad it wasn’t worse. Heal up John – we don’t want any photos at the end with the victors all bandaged up. LOL Hope repairs are forthcoming and easy. If not, what’s 1200 KM? You could almost do that going backwards or blindfolded – well after this incident better not. LOL

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  4. Jackie Queen February 17, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Yes, it could have been a lot worse. Glad there are no bones broken, that would have been a disaster. Hope that’s your last problem

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  5. Jason February 17, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Ouch! I am glad is was not worse. I hope you get the bike fixed and watch out for infections!

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  6. Jonathan February 17, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Sorry to hear about the mishap.

    Heal fast, heal well!

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  7. Kathy February 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Yikes! I’m glad to hear that John wasn’t more seriously injured, and that Daryl was unharmed. (Surely there are guardian angels watching over you!) Hope John heals quickly.

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  8. Thomas Arbs February 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Too bad to hear how easily one can find reason to “celebrate” narrow escapes. Some celebration. And yet, all we all can do is clench our teeth and march on, in the end indeed grimly celebrating the good thing that once more it could have been worse. Cheer up and carry on is the way to do.

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  9. nancy February 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    John’s got his front cantilever brake rerouted to his one functional brake lever. Daryl’s rear cantilever is OK and he’ll continue to man that. The drum brake has now been disconnected. The braking power of the bike has diminished by quite a bit, but we won’t have any more big hills, so they should be OK.

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  10. Tracy Burns February 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Glad to hear you’re all fine and there’s a work around for the bike.

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  11. Michael Odom February 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Wow! Yes, you’re right. It could have been much worse. Glad everyone’s okay.

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  12. Tazzieval February 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    sorry to read this, thank heavens you were able to regroup and rest up and talk it out. I hope the arm stays infection-free (can’t help myself – ex medical scientist majored in Microbiology).

    travel safe, thanks for all the pics & info you share

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  13. Barbara Wolff February 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Patty Raaf is an angel looking after you too! I know that and trust she will keep those big camiones off your back. You are on the main highway south so I am sure there are alot of them. I am spooked when driving in a car and one of those passes! Keep smiling and Keep lucky, a toucan is following you.

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  14. nancy February 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks all! We’re feeling like we’re ready to get back on the road again – only 1200 km to go!

    Barbara – I know Patty is up there watching over us!

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  15. marraco February 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    I’m glad that he was not hurt. I’m hope you find spares on Puerto Deseado. There are many bicycles stores on the city.

    For a moment I was puzzled because I thought that you were on Mount Fitz Roy, which is 500 Km at west.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Fitz_Roy

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  16. Alejandro February 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    not all the country is a toilet…and I would not expect anything different if you are sleeping in drainage tunnels…it seems you are resentful because the country doesnt have what you think it needs. Its all about expectiaons. Well, welcome to reality. First we need to fight corruption in a country that has so many resources and has no money for “outhouses”…But I would say we need a better education system, then healthcare, jobs for everyone and THEN we might be able to think about outhouses.

    Good luck on your adventurous trip….and hey…in i was told once that “life is like a New York Park you have to jump through the dog “shit” in order to get to the other side” :-)

    Cheers

    Alejandro

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