Some things really shouldn’t be said…

But the title of this article could also have been “Vera IS superstitious BUT right” or “Bikes on strike” or else “pedalling with only one speed really isn’t fun”…

It’s almost the end of our trip. Almost. Because one really can’t deny that doing some 550 km, after having done 3000, should really just be a piece of cake: we should be up to it and the bicycles too. So with a lot of motivation (it’s exciting to think that we’ve almost done it and really will get to Ushuaia in the end) we started the last part of our trip, starting in Punta Arenas, where we took the ferry to Porvenir from where we started cycling along the coast of Bahia Inutil towards the Argentine border.

And then it happened: Jean-Christophe said the words that never ever should be said: “Well, we have been really lucky with the bikes so far, nothing really broken or anything…” Now for the small anecdote: a few weeks ago, Jean-Christophe had the same idea saying that “we have been really lucky with the rain” and promptly we got rewarded with a day of rain that we will remember for the rest of our days. On this, Vera had forbidden any phrase that included “have been really lucky” in order to avoid the attraction of any evil spirits.

And yesterday, in a moment of fatigue, Jean-Christophe’s mind took over and made him escape those words thereby awaking the evil spirits only waiting to be revived. So first his low-rider (front luggage rack) decided to crawl under the weight of the bag and the neverending vibrations caused by the ruta de ripio (unpaved road). Prepared for anything we managed to repair the rack with duct tape and tigh rips, so it will probably be fine until Ushuaia. But then (what bad did we do to deserve this???) the real bad thing happened: Jean-Christophe’s rear derailer kind of exploded leaving it completely destroyed in two pieces, with a broken chain and some spokes that got seriously damaged in the whole process. We don’t know exactly what happened, but the result was beyond repair. :-(

And we have met a lot of cyclists, carrying a lot of spare parts (including complete wheels, etc.) but never ever did we meet anybody carrying a spare rear derailler with him (and neither do we). So there we were, sitting on a road with little to no traffic, and with our only company being some sheep looking at us a little bit dumb-struck, probably not very far from how we must have looked…

But then we motivated ourselves and shortened the chain so Jean-Christophe could pedal (more or less) until we reached the border, where some bus drivers were friendly enough to take us to the next big town, Rio Grande, where we are sitting now, having a forced “rest day”. The bicycle is in repair now and everything should be fine.

No evil spirits will get us down now and we will do the last 250 km to Ushuaia! :-) But don’t let anybody ever say those evil words again…

Vera & Jean-Christophe


  1. Posted November 30, 2008 at 0:18 | Permalink

    Allez, encore quelques km et vous y serez arrivés! Jean-Christophe, eau+lubrifiant=mayonnaise => casse, c’est ce qui a du arriver à l’intérieur du dérailleur sans compter les microparticules de silice qui ont du s’accumuler pour faire abrasif. Attention à celui de Vera! Bonne fin de parcours et courrage, vous y êtes.

  2. Posted December 2, 2008 at 22:48 | Permalink

    Oui la chaine et les pignons ont beaucoup souffert du sable/micro-cailloux. Mais pourtant, on a fait et on a nous même souvent nettoyé la chaine et les dérailleurs, et mon vélo venait d’être nettoyé 2 jours avant !
    Apparemment, il se pourrait que ce soit une vis qui tenait le ressort du dérailleur qui a lâchée.
    Mais c’est intéressant ce que tu me dis sur l’eau et le lubrifiant. Au retour, il faudra que tu m’en apprennes plus :-)
    Sinon, ça y est avec 2 nouveaux rayons de cassés, on a quand même réussi à atteindre Ushuaia ! Nous y voilà.