What a difference a day makes, after scaling a 15km hill I summited and started to descend with my brakes on and suddenly – BOOM, my back wheel / tyre exploded. There was no sign of Niel he was enjoying the downhill and was by now kilometres away. I started walking, eventually a kind motorist asked if I needed help and I asked him to stop the cyclist dressed in white up ahead. After walking for another kilometre I saw Niel in the distance sitting on a railing waiting for me.
|My wheel rim torn apart.|
|Judy, the lovely lady who rescued me.|
I was in trouble, the ‘donk, donk ‘ noise I have been hearing every time I used my rear brake was not a patch of oil on my rim as Niel surmised, but a crack in the wheel rim. My rim was a shattered mess. There is no way to fix that and I needed a new rim or wheel. The nearest bike shop was 60kms away and there was no cell phone coverage to phone them. I had no option but to stick my thumb out to hitch a ride.
|Niel is my knight in white lycra delivering me a new wheel.|
|Dirty hands, stuff everywhere, and great entertainment for the McDonalds patrons.|
That sorted, we used the Wi-Fi at the motel to look at where some of the other Trans Canada riders are. One couple had discovered their ferry to Newfoundland had been cancelled and they didn’t know what to do. So we thought we would check out our ferry to Nova Scotia. Shock, horror, ours had been cancelled too.
Apparently the Nova Scotia government subsidises the ferries and it is so broke it had to cancel some services that weren’t getting enough patronage. Now what do we do? We found out that there is still a ferry service from St John in New Brunswick to Digby in Nova Scotia, but it is another 300kms to St John. After pouring over the maps and adjusting our mileage, we reckon we can still make it to Halifax. There is one hiccup though; the ferry only goes at 12 noon, so that is another cycling day gone.
We have to make it to Halifax and not just the coast, as our flights home are from there. Thank god I had the sense to keep aside 2 days for emergencies. Those 2 days have saved our bacon.
Well, not only did I need a new wheel, but also a new cluster and chain – it was senseless putting the old one on when it was decrepit too. After fixing that, Niel discovered I had no brake block left – it had been eaten away by the jagged cracks around the rim. So with new brakes, new gears, and a new wheel I was a happy chappy at last. Now it’s time to do some big kilometres and get the end of this trip.