Not much cycling was done in the last week. I didn’t feel that I needed any kind of fitness training after the last two weeks. I therefore took the opportunity to do the final maintenance on the Mercian before she heads out overseas for the ride of her life. In addition to the maintenance work I had to go and see Andy (the bicycle engineer of Nelson), to see if he could repair the damaged thread in my rear dropout. He gave me the welcome advice that he could fix it. So I threw the bike on the back of the Vespa and delivered it.
While Andy was performing his magic on my $2000 dollar English frameset I went off to the make an appointment with the Travel Doctor for all the vaccinations I will need. I’m thinking I’m going to need everything from Rabies shots to Jap Encephalitis and Yellow fever. Throw in some Hepatitis, Cholera, Typhoid, Malaria pills and why not have a tetanus booster while I’m at it. Luckily for me I’m not squeamish when it comes to needles. Although I definitely can’t watch while they do it. It won’t be cheap.
But having said that. It’s not in the same cost league as my next call, which was to the dentist for a check-up. I thought it best not to go overseas without having a check-up because I hadn’t been to the dentist for a wee while. It’s never good news of course. I could either have all my teeth out or get a small loan to have 3 cavities fixed and a clean. I might impose austerity measures on myself and just get the fillings done and shelve the clean. Doc said he’d give me a prescription for some antibiotics too in case I have problems while I’m away.
Back home again I replaced a few final bits that were worn on the’ Mercian Urban Machine’;
-New bearings in Wheels
-New chain and Cluster
-New tyres and tubes
-New crank set
-New SH rear derailleur
-New brake and gear cables
-Two additional drink bottle cages on handlebars
I think that was the sum of it for now. All these bits I had stockpiled for years in some cases for just this moment. And when I get back some of the old stuff will go back on my M.U.M because there’s still life in it. But I don’t want to invite breakdown on the road by using old stuff for the trip.
There will still be the odd last minute tweak like new brake blocks.
Then for the rest of last week it was back to being a home handyman as I set about removing a bit more rotten timber about ‘Potters-End’. ‘Potters-End’ has received the same low rate of attention in the last ten years as my teeth so there’s more rot to get onto next week.
I’ve still got to see Di my Travel Agent this week if I can, and I’m hoping the nice Vietnamese people might send my passport back with a stamp in it.
Since I haven’t done any cycling to speak of, I thought I might cycle the 200km return journey to Golden Bay on Sunday to check out the latest whale stranding. Despite being warned on numerous occasions they are still landing without authorisation, and making camp on the beach. The reason for this illegal camping seems as mystifying as that of the ‘Occupy Movement ‘ in our main centres. The tossers cause might be more understandable if we could begin to decipher what’s going through these waste of spacer heads.
I continue to live in hope that out there somewhere among the people I know there might be someone who would like to accompany me on the cycle trip of a lifetime. In fact if I wasn’t already on this expedition I’d have to be part of it. Where’s the adventure in people these days? I suppose it’s all for the best. A companion would just keep me awake with their snoring or demand that we only drink herbal teas. Worse still, with others, I might have to spend precious drinking time searching for vegetarian restaurants or bottled water.