A quick update from a hostel on the 10th floor of an apartment building (I tried to remember the last time I rode an elevator…). Having been mostly camping for free by the sides of rivers lately, once in a while I’ll decide I deserve to sleep indoors. But not because I like beds, in fact, I find my Thermarest superior to most anything else. Just once in a while a shower and Internet is nice. I heard about this hostel from some other cyclists, and it is quite the place with amazing views.
While I walked around town looking for pastries, I enjoyed the nippy weather. I don’t think I’ve been this cold since sometime in Bolivia (or in Chile when hiking with Hawk). Just yesterday I picked up a 16 pound (7kg) duffel bag that I sent ahead from Mendoza. Among other things, I sent my down jacket and a couple wool layers which will be good to have. However, upon strapping it to my bike I asked myself why I have so much junk in the first place. I think I’ll try to ship as much stuff as I can to Buenos Aires and pick it up there. Or maybe I should just throw it out.
Recently, I’ve been noticing some bulges on my rear rim, which mean I can’t brake smoothly, as the bulges lock up the wheel. On gravel or wet pavement this means I skid around and wear out the tire faster than usual. (For cyclists out there reading this, the blue protective layer on the Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB is now showing through, but I’ve read in places that this shouldn’t be a problem… we’ll see.) I took it to a mechanic and was told what I thought would be the case: the rim has opened up, and even if you could bend it back, it is already weakened and not a good idea. So I had to get a new rim, but the mechanic is closed today, so I’ll bike to El Bolson on the old rim and get it replaced tomorrow morning. When I asked what may have caused it, I was told either inflating the tire too much (unlikely), or overloading the bike (You don’t say!). Having gotten it in Trujillo, Peru only (“only”?) 4,000 miles ago, I had hoped it would last until the end, but it did see some of the rougher dirt roads of Peru and Bolivia.
Dear spokes, rims, bottom bracket, pedals, derailleurs, bar end shifters, Ortlieb buckles, mind and body, we got this, we can do it! Don’t fail me now, just 1,600 miles to go.
Well, it is almost noon here, but I still have 8 hours of sunlight (and hopefully not rain) to try and do the 75 mile ride to El Bolson.