Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome....Kind of....

Day 125 (February 17, 2013)
Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Day's Ride: 1 Mile

I awoke at 7:00 AM, still tired, but unable to go back to sleep. After eating the included "breakfast" at the hotel, I hunted down an ATM and some cash. I say "breakfast" because when a hotel or hostel down here says that breakfast is included, what they really mean is that you can have a few slices of bread and a cup of coffee.

I finally made it back to Manolito's house and we got to work on the issue of fabricating a new chain guard. Manolito had a thick piece of rubber matting underneath some furniture in his shop and he let me cut out a big piece of it.

After much hacking and cursing, we finally managed to fabricate something that sort of resembled the old chain guard.

After a little more work, we finally got it to where it would fit on the bike.

About this time a serious deluge of rain centered itself on Rio Gallegos and I decided that I wouldn't be riding anywhere today.

As we were putting on the new chain guard, I noticed another problem:

This is where the master link should be. Unfortunately, this is not a DID master link; I have a feeling that the mechanics just used some of the pins from where they shortened the chain to hook it all back together. Hell, they hadn't even heard of an X-ring chain until I told them about it, maybe they hadn't heard of a rivet style master link? This just goes to show you that you should never let a mechanic (especially in Central or South America) do something that you can do yourself.

In any event, the holes in the plate are stretched out; there is now play between the pin and the plate and I can slide the link pin back and forth laterally by about 1mm. I assume that at some not to distant point in the future, if I keep riding with the chain the way it is, then that plate is going to give out and my chain is going to break.

So now I have another dilema. I have two DID rivet style master links that I stold from Ed Zachtamundo after he got hit in El Salvador. I think the right thing to do would be to remove the damaged links and hook everything back up with a fresh master link. Unfortunately, they are for the "VT2" model; my chain is the VM model and I'm not sure if they are compatible. Even if they are compatible, I don't have the chain press tool to put it together. I realize that it can be done shade-tree style with a c-clamp, a nut, and a ball bearing, but I don't have those things either. For those of you that are reading along that are in the know, this is where I need your advice!

I think I could probably make it the last 300 miles into Ushuaia, but I think that the smart move would be to stay here until I can fix this.

I'm kind of at a loss for what to do right now. I think I'm going to go to the bike shop here in town in the morning and see if they can help. Until then, any advice from via the web would be greatly appreciated!

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