Breakdowns

The breakdowns are almost inevitable part of each longer journey, this is a rule and we also had them.
On the third day of our journey Sławek has a very bad luck. Due to some mysterious, unknown, factors the front sprockets fall apart and just a dozen kilometers further the rear wheel hub breaks down. We are lucky to have Piotr with us, and he has two news for us, one is bad and the other good. The good is that we have a spare hub and we replace it (the thread is a bit shorter and therefore the kickstand cannot be fixed, Sławek has no intention carrying any additional luggage and leaves his kickstand on the roadside). The bad one is that we do not have any spare front sprockets (we have not foreseen such a situation). The success is only partial and Sławek is forced to use only one, the middle sprocket, there are many elevations and he must use lighter gears. His idea is to stop and change the front gear manually with a stick but soon he gives up. We are riding really slowly; our average speed today is circa 14 kilometers per hour. Finally, we reach town called Benesov where we buy the missing parts: the hub and the sprockets. The prices differ from those in Poland but still they are better than those in Austria or Germany. Piotr quickly replaces the sprockets and Sławek may have some relief now.

On some other time, while in Austria, Wojtek gets a flat tire. This happens at the worst possible time – in the morning just at the beginning of the stage. We all are in hurry because we have slept too long, so in order to make up the wasted time we must ride faster. The tube is replaced quickly. Sławek and Piotr set the speed and Wojtek just after two hundred meters stops and helplessly looks at his friends, the new tube is flat. Ten minutes later Piotr manages to repair it. Piotrand Sławek experience the same problem twice, this makes the ride slower and everyone loses the tempo. Since the beginning of the second day, the spokes in rear wheel of Wojtek’s bicycle make funny sounds, nothing happens, but on the way back home in Czech Republic, one of the spokes breaks and needs to be replaced. Each of us gets mad. We must borrow the wrench form a farmer because we simply do not have such in our equipment and finally Piotr fixes the problem.