Friday, 23 January 2009

Cycling the hard way - part 2

Dirt road in WA
When I had finished my last post I thought things could not get worse: I had fallen off my bike, cycled in 45 C and ended in a forest fire. But after I had left the library, things did get worse: I had a flat tyre! Exactly what I needed at that moment.
But then Aussie mentality came in. I was still contemplating my misery staring at my bike when the first Aussie guy offered to help me. I was still pretending to be brave and told him I could manage on my own. I dragged my bike into a corner where hopefully nobody would see me fiddling around with it like a rookie when the second Aussie guy turned up. He did not even ask whether I needed help - he just started repairing it. And I have to admit that I needed help - after a long day I was a little bit shaken. We were already applying a patch on the hole when a third guy turned up - not an Aussie, but Swiss, even German-speaking Swiss. He was a mechanic and father of 4 children, so he had the technical know-how and the patience for an absolute beginner like me. But it was so hot (or whatever was the reason), that the patch would not stay on. The minute we had re-assembled the bike it went flat again. This is when I decided that I would not go on cycling that day.... We put in the spare tube (me actually doing it and my Swiss friend giving me instructions) and then I followed him to the local campground. And that campground had a swimming pool! And that was the happy ending of that day. Life was good again lying in a cool pool when it has 45 C outside...

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