Day 243 | getting water at Goldwire rest area: just wait for an unsuspecting 4WDer

85 km | Heading west total: 10,775 km

When I was in Broome I helped Jan get her bike into working condition.

It wasn’t hard: the quick release on the front wheel had lost a nut and the axle was resting in place, held only by gravity. The local bike shop gave me a replacement nut and the probability of any severe nosedive diminished by a significant factor.

It seemed as if you required a beard at least a foot long to work at the bike shop: it was populated by folk who appeared directly from a Tintin adventure.

Where in the hell did they ride their mountain bikes around Broome, there’s one road out of town to the roadhouse 34 km away and the rest of the country is deep sand? They weren’t the lycra and latte types. These guys wouldn’t be satisfied with road riding. Certainly no mountains. Seems there’s a big claypan which is ok to ride around on with a few jumps to get the pulse twitching.

I ended up staying for a chat and the boys seemed interested in my trip. Sometimes it’s good to be not the usual circuit-of-Oz-on-the-tar type.

So after a while I thought I’d take the opportunity to replace my rear derailleur which was so floppy it looked as if it might be the cause of my gayly jumping gears. $100 for a new one but this was last year’s model and had a scratch on it.

$50 and did I need it fitted.

Yes, sir.

I came back an hour later and with the new cable it came to $55. Can’t quibble with that.

And the result. The gears are changing like a dream.

Is this a new bike?

Thanks Moe.