I do have some serious issues with my bicycle back weel. So should I have choosen a different bike? I have got in touch with Cykelringen in Sweden selling me the bicycle and they don't want to help at all, not even giving guarantee for any of our two broken back wheels without seeing them first. So I am so angry on them. I role down the hills to Nkata bay by the lake with trouble on the way.
I do have some serious issues with my bicycle back weel. Now the choice of bicycle was determined by me in this way. I have got in touch with Cykelringen in Sweden selling me the bicycle and they don't want to help at all, not even giving guarantee for any of our two broken back wheels without seeing them first. So I am so angry on them. I have really tried with them and apparently my mum has called them many times to sort things out and try to get a new back wheel. So now she paid an extra 250 USD for a new back wheel for me to continue. I will get this wheel in Zambia and of course it will come as an expensive special luggage.
Cost - it is deffinatly possible to do a trip like this at a small cost. Now I think I have proven that. This bicycle is just a seven gear ladies style bicycle and very ordinary.
Less stuff to brake - it has no suspension, not so cool tires and so on. Theese cool and comfortable stuff cost extra and may be difficult things to get fixed in Africa, if they brake. That is why I chose not to have it.
Iron frame - My bike has a heavy iron frame, which is heavy but cheaper and also easier to fix. In every african village there is someone who can weld steel.
I know doing this trip is more about will and determination but the sneaky price spent also reflects on the quality of the bike. Yes, it is now proven that the weels are of poor quality which is not ideal for this kind of trip.
I met some other cyclists on the way and the pictures above show there choices. Would I have choosen differently now. Yes, I would have bought a local bicycle, no gears but strong and easy to fix in Africa. Or next time I might try a motorbike.
Ok so I had a good night, but I sleep only five hours, then do a lot of internet arrends. I am really loving this homey place and I would love to stay. But I now have an upcoming apointment in Zambia with a friend from South of Sweden. It is important to meet him especially since he is bringing a new back weel to the bike. Now the weel I arranged since a few days is doing great, really straight, but I keep on hearing some skueeky tinging noice from the spokes which is worrying me. So I keep an extra eye on them.So this apointment makes me go on. I plan to cycle for the coming days along the lake , 550 km, to Lilongwe, capital of Malawi. But after that I will have to get a bus all the way to the capital of Zambia and probably leave my bike there for a few days and go north without it to pick up the weel where my friend is.
I drag myself from this place and it is late afternoon when I go, knowing I will mostly go downhill today and only some 50 km. I start listening to a book, 50 shades of grey...hmm allready sceptical about it, I like more adventures like Pappilion or Harry Potter. But maybe the target group for this book is women...maybe...
I cant really see mr Grey in this landscape so I turn it of after a half hour.
Majestic views over a playful cloudscape with lots of green hills beneth.
I have not come far down the road when I check the spokes. The sound is deffinatly coming from the spokes. Ahhh what is it. I check the tension on all of them and to my fear and surprise about five are loose. First I think they have broken off but after tightening them, which is possible I realise they are just unscrewing themselfs. Ahhh bad quality...I stop another seven times on my way
and I reach Nkata bay as darknes falls. Spokes are getting loose fast even though I go soooo slow on all bumps. And unfortunatly the weel is more crooked now. I am troubled...
Mkata bay does look like a nice place. Maybe I have to stay for a few days and take a transport all the way. But o so frustrating...