On The Road, Problems

Day 115 – Pa Pae to Pai with bad gears!

Surprisingly today was a good day. We cycled 60kms with 30 of them being uphill. Our broken chain from yesterday held up and we made it all the way to Pai. The problem was the rear gear kept slipping under load. Adding to this was the fear that the chain would break again at any moment and we’d be without pedals altogether halfway up a climb.

But everything was good. We made it! We arrived in Pai at around lunch time and everything was without stress. Natt and I knew we’d be in for a bunch of walking so we just took it in stride. Pai seems nice, but we didn’t have time to look around much when we first arrived.

We had to find someone to fix our gears, or come up with a plan to get into a van with our rear wheel and go to Chiang Mai to have the cogset and chain replaced. We were not looking forward to that, but since we’ve got 5 more days of large hills left before we arrive in the Central Plains it was going to be our only choice.

Natt posted a message in ThaiMTB.com last night and today we had a reply about a guy we could call, so we did. Dtar is his name and he is the president of the local bicycle club. Not only is he an avid cyclist, but he is also the local ‘Mr Fix-it.’ By no means an expert, but he was certainly someone that had a cache of spare bicycle parts and the tools to give it a go.

So we gave it a go and after about 1 hour he had replaced the rear cassette and also put on a new chain. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but it was now done. We took the bicycle out for a spin and it seems just fine. Hopefully it will work under extreme load and we will be climbing hills again like the pros we are (ha ha).

Once we sorted the bicycle, we headed over to Thai Adventure Tours to lock in our Rafting trip from Pai to Mueang Mai Hong Son. We’ve decided to go by boat one way to Mae Hong Son and have the bicycle transported over the hills. Once we arrive there we will ride the bicycle back over those hills.

The rafting trip will make a good break for the bicycle and also it’s something that neither Natt or I have done properly before. We’ll raft for a day, camp overnight, and then continue onto Mae Hong Son. It should be rather fun and I’m excited to try it. I think Natt is also excited about it all.

The Rafting is 5,400 Baht for two people, all inclusive for two days and they will transfer our bicycle and panniers. So I’m pretty happy that.

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