Saturday, June 28, 2008

A watched pot...

This is getting silly now. I still have 20 days before I get to leave NZ, and I'm starting to get a bit tetchy. I just want to get underway, even if that just means starting my 2 weeks in the UK. Anything's gotta be better than killing time at work (never thought I'd hear myself think that! I love my job!). I haven't even got my bike to play with any more. Probably just as well, given my kak-handedness. I have two short stories of ineptitude where learning about the bike is concerned, for those that are interested, and here they are.

The first centres around the inner tubes. I was reasonably successful at taking the wheels off the bike, and the tyres off the rims, all be it with some grunting and groaning over the back one. Mark the mechanic very wisely tried to recreate 'the side of the road' in the workshop for realism, so tyre irons only were allowed...until the back tyre wouldn't budge, so he used his fancy machine to get me started. Anyway, all good: tube off, new tube back on, and in a first-attempt show of generosity, Mark even let me balance the wheel on a small steel drum to give me more leverage to get the tyre back on, while the other guy in the shop showed me how to bash the tyre on with a judical mix of leaning on the bead with one hand and a knee, and bashing the other part on with a rubber mallet. All going well, until I started to get a bit tired (ahh, those puns again) and managed to clout my supporting arm instead of the bead. While all my weight was on it. Leaning forward.

It was, I suspect, one of the more graceful manoevers ever performed in the workshop, as I fell in an elegant forward roll, perfected in the ninja dojos of the world, over the top of the wheel, onto my head, while carefully protecting the not-so-delicate yet surprisingly hard and pointy sprocket with my groin. Or maybe the sprocket protected my groin from the ground, its hard to say. Lets just say, they weren't tears of joy at my first success that were coursing down my cheeks...I learned a lesson.

The front was easy after that...except I managed to dig 3 large holes in the new, expensive, heavy duty inner tube as I tried to put the tyre back on. I learned some more.

The other tale of woe was the new battery, which only asked to be filled on a level surface, so I picked one of those optically illusional level surfaces, and so managed to spill a quantity of the acid on the ground. Probably got enough in there though, should be I just have to charge it (easy!). Except the charger wasn't working, so one of the guys moved it to another plug, one without an adaptor to regulate the in-going current (can you tell I have no idea what I'm talking about? No? How kind of you...). Shortly afterwards, the carefully inserted, impossible to remove black plastic caps used to stopper the filling holes were firing across the workshop like some kind of low budget special effect. Needle in a haystack doesn't come close. Those caps did not want to be found amongst the Frankenstein's laboratory of bike parts. Never mind, just think how powerful my battery will be now, with all that extra electricity in it...

Well, I hope its enjoying its trip in the box, it'll only be a few weeks out of Valparaiso by now. Closer than me anyway. Is that what they mean by 'bike envy'? Hey ho, on with the Spanish lessons. Hasta luego....or something...

1 comment:

hoogie said...

almost as good as the mighty tiger! good luck guys, enjoy the trip!
keep up the trip reports
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