Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2012 – 2013, Laela – Sumbawanga: Broken Spokes

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on May - 14 - 2016

Distance: 93.2 km
Ride time: 6:35:07
Average: 14.2 km/h
Max speed: 51.1 km/h
Total: 48859 km

Another day on a brand new road with no traffic. If all cycling in Africa was like this… well, maybe it would be too easy 🙂 It was indeed smooth riding, but with a head wind and scattered rain showers to spice things up a bit.

Considering the smooth road I was rather surprised to see that one of my spokes had broken. The last time I broke a spoke was in Thailand some five years ago. Now my good luck had run out… Usually it’s fine to ride with a broken spoke until the next bike store, but I’m really in the middle of nowhere and furthermore about to enter a rough dirt road.

Luckily, with all the bicycles around, there are bike mechanic in every tiny village in Tanzania. The problem is that my bike is not like the local bikes. With my 29′ wheels and 9 speed gearing, I could only hope that one of the mechanics would be creative enough to fix my problem.

If there is one thing that people in Africa are it’s creative, and my road side bike mechanic was happy enough to take on the challenge. Now, never mind how good a bike mechanic you are, it’s difficult if you don’t have the proper tools. My new friend decided that the only way he could get off the cassette was to use a hammer and a lot of force. That was when my nerves couldn’t take more and I decided I’d better get some lunch and come back an hour later 🙂

An hour later the wheel was indeed put back together and everything looked good. The real test will come when I hit the dirt tomorrow 🙂

Categories: Tanzania
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One Response so far.

  1. I don’t think I’d like to see the cassette being forced from my rear wheel, like that, either! But, if it works, I guess that’s all that matters!

    The first broken spoke in five years, is pretty good going though. How well would your Bianchi have held up, if you brought that instead?