I’ve cycled across 20 countries. Can I repair a puncture? Nope.

Me wearing helmet & bike

My bike needed some TLC.  The components were suffering having giving them an absolute hammering by riding across some of the toughest off road miles on the planet.  Across South America.  And when I say some miles I mean some 10,000 km.

The only repairs needed in my toughest year of cycling ever was the bottom bracket ball bearings needing cleaned and brake cables replaced.  I hadn’t even suffered one broken spoke!

A box full of replacement bicycle parts arrived from Stanforth Bikes the creators of my expedition bike ‘The Kibo’.

It was the equivalent emotion fused scene as receiving a box full of Jimmy Choo shoes and Prada handbags for those into fashion. 

I had no idea how to swap all my shiny new components onto my bike.  I know, I know.  I really should know this stuff for cycling the world on my own.  But I don’t.  Can I successfully repair a puncture?  No I can’t.  But I carry spare tubes instead and I can replace a punctured tube so perhaps the ability to fix your own puncture is a overrated.

I mean I’ve cycle toured 20 countries so far.

So I have all these bicycle parts and I don’t know what to do with them.  Even if I did know I don’t have any tools.

Dales Cycle Shop

I put an SOS out to Dales Cycles, Glasgow Dales Logo

Past fails have meant I’m apprehensive when dropping bikes off for repairs. Especially when it comes to the one I’m riding the world on.  Never having used Dales before I wondered if they would live up to the great things I kept hearing about them. 

To most this will look just a rusty bike.  But to me I see 5000 metre Andean mountain passes and 140 km Patagonian head winds.  Of pedalling to the cities of Santiago in Chile and Rio, Brazil.  I see cycling across the Land of Fire and standing at the End of the World. Cycling over the largest salt plain in the world & following Che Guevara’s final footsteps to his place of execution.  Riding through the Pantanal Jungle, parrots flying past my head, alligators in the water.  I remember on my hands and knees clinging onto my bicycle at 4800 metres not knowing if I’m going to survive.

Bike on stand for repairs

I had no reason to be nervous.  Jim Housten has been a mechanic at Dales Cycles for over 26 years and it showed.  When I picked up the bike he was full of advice.

Me, bike in Dales

I had been off the bike for over 2 months after picking up that nasty chest infection doing the rounds so I must admit I was one excited lassie on leaving Dales Cycles.  I was free again!  Back to full health and re-united with my wheels.  No need to get buses or trains!  Back to my preferred mode of transport.  Back on my bicycle!

Dales Cycles

150 Dobbie’s Loan, Glasgow G4 0JE, 0141 332 2705

Stanforth Bikes

Unit 13, Level 4 South, New England House, New England Street, Brighton, BN1 4GH, 07850881438

*This post is not sponsored and 100% my own thoughts.*  

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2 thoughts on “I’ve cycled across 20 countries. Can I repair a puncture? Nope.

  1. June Higgins says:

    Hi Ishbel – hope u r well and was wondering when u r setting off on ur next round of adventures? I look forward to reading all ur interesting posts and hearing about ur experiences in all the amazing places u visit. June x

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