Day 16 | getting highly strung in Portland: turned out to be OK after all

22 km | Heading west total: 604 km

Some things are meant to be.

I was meant to stay in Portland. It’s easy to see now.

You see there was this big downhill first thing this morning.

I should have guessed there was something wrong when I started to apply the brakes on the way down. There was a bit of ping-ing from the back somewhere.

I now know this is an ominous sign.

In fact a sound to dread.

At the bottom of the hill: 5 broken spokes on the rear wheel even though 31 were OK.

That’s quite a lot.

Being the well-prepared type I, of course, had a bundle of extra spokes, and generally fitting into the slightly-lucky-if-I-have-a-catastrophe category 4 of them were on the side I could replace them without having to remove the cassette. So I staggered the 20km into Portland minus only one spoke.

The bike shop was quiet for a Monday lunchtime and to cut a long story short I now know how to relace a rear wheel and how to true up a wheel. I got to do most of this activity myself. The spokes are now the famous DT Swiss stainless steel type which I originally had on the bike (prior to the wheel replacement back at Echuca) and which had lasted without breaking ever since I did the deal for the bike back in 2001.

Better to have this problem now than out there in the desert even though it ended up costing $90.

OK, so a new wheel is only $100 but they didn’t have any 9 gear mountain bike size.