Saturday, 30 August 2014

Day 60 Wednesday August 27th Tynda

In the morning (?) we surfaced and gradually pieced together what arrangements had been made last night. Ivan ( who spoke no English) was called and when he said "bike, bike" we deduced that we should go to his garage where the bike was left overnight.
We walked to the garage asking a bank where Dave and Paul proceeded to change another wedge of US dollars into rubles.
In no time at all Aidan arrived at the garage and then Vitally and some of the others from the group. We all went to a local cafe and had breakfast.

After breakfast Geoff again returned with Ivan to the garage and the rest went back to the hotel to remove air filters and wash them ready for our departure tomorrow.
It took Ivan two hours to complete the repairs and then he helped Geoff to reassemble the bike which as it turned out was in fact a two man job because none of the brackets lined up with the screw holes, and the bracket had to be "helped into position" with the aid of crowbars!

Ivan would not accept any payment for all the work he had done, and so we gave him one of the watches Frank had brought as gifts for people. He was overwhelmed with gratitude that we should give him such a gift, but in fact it was us who were overwhelmed by the support and help that he had given us.

Ivan pointed out that the front wheel bearing on Geoff's bike was nearly collapsed, and so after finishing the welding repairs Geoff rode the bike back to the hotel and Frank and Dave changed the front wheel bearing. This proved to be not an easy job as the inner race had collapsed, and the outer race was stuck inside the wheel housing and wouldn't come out. We knew that a technique for removing these is to run a short weld bead inside the problem race and when it cooks it contracts the metal and allows it to be removed. Not wanting to trouble Ivan again we decided to put the whole wheel hub on one of the stoves and heat it up to see if this helped with the removal. Sure enough at the first tap after heating the problem bearing race came out.
In putting the front wheel back Dave noticed Geoff's front disc brakes were badly worn, and these were changed. The conclusion Dave and Frank came to was that Geoff had bought crap parts off the internet and that was why his chain had not lasted, his wheel bearing collapsed, and his brake pads had eroded when everyone else's bike was just fine!

The final repairs to Geoff's bike was to tie wrap his number plate back on, and gaffer tape up his broken rear light lense after they had broken off yesterday. The bike now looks as good as new but secretly is held together with tie wraps, gaffer tape and welds upon welds upon welds!

Geoff's phone had not survived a dunking in the river and so he went and bought the cheapest phone he could find so he would be able to text Savi and get in touch with get when she came to Moscow after on.

That evening we said our goodbyes to Vitally banking him for all his help. He has supplied us with the phone number of an English speaking biker in Vladivostok who will help us if we need support there.

We went for one last meal with Edward who in the morning will be heading north towards Magadan when we are heading south towards Vladivostok.

More later

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