Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 2: Started at last! (part 1)

Got up at 4:30. The lights were burning brightly - I had forgotten to turn them off at night. So it was that I finally figured the real reason behind the dim lighting for the previous few days: low voltage.

Set to repair the bike at 5:30. I had a fellow lodger assisting me. I quickly figured that it wasn't possible to mount the deraileur in any other fashion - the deraileur hanger really was needed. So I took the only way out - converting the bike to a fixed speed bike. With a non-existent deraileur, this is the only thing anyone can possibly do. For me, the target for today was Tinsukia. I also knew the terrain for the most part is flat, with a few gentle slopes and much rock and rubble to cross the Brahmaputra. I figured that the highest front chain ring and the gear #8 on the back will serve my purpose and allow me to keep a high enough pace to cover the whole distance of about 140km. Carefully, we reduced the length of the chain. But it was 7:40 by the time I had breakfast and had started off from Tezu.

The bike was showing some signs of problem from the beginning. The chain would rattle at times, or would slip. The lazy man in me let me procrastinate. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the sights of the mustard seed fields and the snowcapped mountains at the distance. After 10 km or so, the real reason for the rattle presented itself - I hadn't fixed the chain very well. I quickly fixed the problem, but still the riding experience was less than perfect. The first stream crossing came at 12 km, and the next problem cropped up soon after. This time I figured that the cause of the problem was actually a non-centered wheel, fixed it and rode on. A few hundred meters later, I came to a full halt. The chain got stuck above the highest chain ring and I was forced to dismount. This time, the bad chain link (fixed by me) looked unfixable. With the moral support of a few local lads, I fixed it. And rode on with a less than perfect bike. Soon, I was kept busy with more stream crossings.

1 comment:

Gauthaman said...

You are going to give Lalu a run for his money as you are becoming more of geek-o-mechanic. Happy to see that locals are supporting you with full josh.