Sunday, March 4, 2012

Days 22 & 23: Hokitika to Reefton

Our last day in Hokitika was our first actual "rest" day since the start of this trip.  We have had other days where we didn't have anything scheduled, but we just ended up spending the entirety of those days on the computer, planning, or preparing for fundraisers, or looking for accommodation.  But Saturday was heaven...just relaxing, baking, chatting with family, and Jason took us out on an excursion to see the pancake rocks at sunset.  It was such a nice day!  After a nice dinner, we went to bed early, for our early rise the next day, about to do our longest ride yet...

Sunday morning we got up early, said goodbye to Jason, and headed off towards Reefton, all set to ride 120kms.  The sun was shining, the waves were crashing to our left, the view of the mountains to our right, and the road ahead looked "flat as", as they say here in NZ.  We got to Greymouth 40kms later, still full of energy, and decided to wait until halfway for our lunch break.  Then we got to 59kms and started looking for a nice place to stop for lunch...

I saw a hill up ahead and as I got up, I realized it was a steep one, and I had to either get off and walk or get up on the bike standing.  Not wanting to get off, I stood and pedaled hard and fast... After about 10 seconds, everything seized up and I had to stop.  I looked behind me and saw that my reflective vest that I had taken off and tied onto my bag had fallen down and tangled itself in my derailleur (new word for me...aka the thing that the chain goes through on the back wheel!)  So I got off and somehow got it out, but when I got back on the bike, the derailleur had turned upside down and tangled itself in the wheel... That's when I knew we had a big problem!  After about 15 minutes of getting all greasy and trying to fix it myself, but having no clue what I was doing, we flagged down a car, asked for his help, and he then snapped the entire thing off of the bike!  I guess it would've happened anyways, but it just confirmed that we really did have a BIG problem!  So he went away after promising to come back with a new derailleur, so we just sat down and had our lunch on the side of the road and waited for him to come back.

He did come back, with his friend who knew more about bikes than he did, and together the two of them temporarily fixed my bike, at least enough to get us to Reefton, but I wasn't able to change gears.  Basically I put it on one gear, and it would shift itself whenever it felt like it, and usually in the opposite direction that I would've changed it!  And I had to get off and put the whole chain back on after if falling off about 5 or 6 times, but eventually it seemed to be used to it's new way of working, and we got to Reefton, just before the sun set, 11 hours after we had started biking that morning!  ...Sigh!...

We stayed at the Old Nurses Home in Reefton, where they were so kind to us, and we went and got some dinner, and came back and got into our extremely welcoming beds after a nice long shower!  It was definitely the most challenging day of the trip so far!!!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on making it to 1000km.I hope there are not too many problems with the bikes in the future. Have a great day.



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