Friday, 3 July 2009

Day 16 - Willowmore to Prince Albert

172 km day in 14 hours. Better than the nearly 20 hours it took us to do a similar distance yesterday. Given the terrain and weather conditions today was rather pathetic. The day was good and the route flat. But we do have a handful of excuses. Firstly, we are seriously sleep deprived. Blogging instead of sleeping doesn't help but the 'fans' are demanding.
Secondly, riding the beast is hard on the butt and regular butt breaks are necessary.
Thirdly, riding up front is hard work when every inch of the riding line has to be carefully picked and ridden, particularly at night when it is hard to differentiate between sand, mud and the good stuff. It takes about 5 minutes for your shoulders to start cramping. It feels like someone is pushing a blunt knife into your shoulder blades. I have piloted the bike for over 5000km in the last 6 months and it still works me over. Nursing my ITB problems in the past week has meant Glenn has had to captain the beast for the best part of each day. Today he was feeling a bit off colour so I took control for the last 4 hours and my shoulders and neck ache.
Lastly, the Rohloff hub our secret weapon for trail reliability failed! This must be a world first. These things are supposed to be bullet and bomb proof. We have lost 6 gears in our range of 14. We have 1 and then 8 - 14. So we can crawl up hills or ride flats and downhills. Johann Rissik the 'go to guy' in Prince Albert leapt at the chance of fiddling with a legendary Rohloff and rinsed and filled the hub with new oil. Will see how that works in the morning. Hopefully all will be good. Failing that we need to make a plan to get our spare one out of the store room back home and onto the bike. Going to make tomorrow a rather long day if it aint fixed. At worst it will give us a good excuse for the longs days and extended walking sessions.
The right knee is still very sore. By the time I get into the support station I hobble around in pain. But only a handful of days left so must just suck it up.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike & Glenn,

Sorry to about the Rohloff. Keep us techies updated!
Respect for carry on despite so much hardship, pain. Hope the tea bags are lasting though. Be great to hear you in CT. Take care!


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Mike and Glen and keep on blogging - I need my regular fix! Chris (Stompie)

cat-i said...

wow, you guys certainly put the tandem through it's paces .... keep the blogs coming, i'm thoroughly enjoying it (and spamming everyone that i know, with it)

keep going, not too far now :)