After the battering the poor bike has taken on these rough roads in Russia and Mongolia, it was time to do a few repairs.
Fortunately, one of Murray's local staff here is a bit of a magic "fixit" person, able to fix anything no matter what. One of the support brackets on the pannier rack had broken away (probably back in France at the Chunnel train station when it toppled sideways onto a concrete ledge in 2010) but the roughness of these roads was making it worse, with it really hanging outwards. So, because the guesthouse welder decided to short out and not work, Mr Fixit rode his little bike, with me following, off to one of his mates' workshops, who happens to be the town's best mechanic, who is also a welder. Three minutes later, the bracket was securely welded and looking good. No money was requested, so I gave him T10,000.
Back to the guesthouse, where Mr Fixit went to work, belting the dents out of one of the pannier lids that had come adrift in South Korea and had bounced down the road, so that it now fits perfectly again. Then the other pannier, where one of the mounting brackets had completely come adrift, although I had luckily salvaged it. He found some suitable long bolts and rebolted it back into position. It's now good to go. He found a bolt to replace a lost one, and retightened another on the opposite side, both now holding the pannier rack firmly onto the bike.
Then he found a length of slim but strong aluminium tube, and fashioned a new flag pole for me, affixing it to the pannier rack and supports with cable ties. So now the Aussie flag is flying again. WooHoo!
All within a very short timeframe, too. So, again unasked for, I slipped him T20,000 and a koala for his little boy. It certainly pays to make sure the bike is functioning correctly, particularly on these roads. I'm happy again!
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