sun and 17 degrees is hard enough for me today. Heading out of Finikounta, we traversed the first of the mountain ranges and it was quite tough. If it was any hotter, I think I’d die. Perhaps there is a reason why we’re here in November.
Getting to the top, there were amazing views of the ‘second finger’ (the three peninsulas along the south end of the Peloponnese). Great views of mountains 3-4 times larger than what we just went through. Made me stop and almost reconsider where we’re going and what we’re doing…Tomorrow will be quite challenging!
Finally we arrived at a center large enough to have a cycle shop. Brian was in heaven looking at new cranks, front forks, shifters, cycle gloves, etc., etc. But I only wanted what was
necessary. I took the one guy over to my bike and showed him the problem with my grip shift. He asked ‘you want fix?’, and I nodded. Then I went in to tell Brian and ask him what else was absolutely necessary. When he told me, I almost reconsidered, but I’ve decided not to fight him about this anymore. Then when he does all his replacements and the bikes still have problems it’s not my fault.
Of course, he wanted to change my whole gear assembly. By the time he turned around to tell someone, my bike was gone! Already in the back and having the grip shift worked on. I loved how these guys were right to the point and eager to work. It took some convincing, but Brian finally talked them into changing all the cogs and cranks on my bike as well (secretly I think they were thinking like me - it’s not really that bad). Seems as though ‘preventative maintenance’ (as he likes to call it) is not that popular here.
Coming back in an hour, I had lovely mis-matched shifters. Of course! Only one was broken, so only one was fixed. A little for Brian and a little for me. But he did a great job on the main assembly, even replacing the main bearing (which Brian hadn’t even noticed was worn) and giving me new front and back break pads.
These guys were so excited to be working on our bikes. Not only due to slow business, they
were genuinely interested in helping out and greatly impressed that we have gone so far. Brian also replaced his front fork and the guy stayed after closing to finish it up for him. When everything was all shiny and new the owner shook Brian’s hand and gave him some store t-shirts! Now there’s a souvenir that you can’t buy.
However, I don’t think Brian really knows what he’s in for now. If he did, he may reconsider. With new bike components, there’s no way that we’re stopping now. I’m going to make sure these repairs are worth the investment and we’re going to keep going. Another 5000km - at least!
I’ve reconsidered. I don’t think we’d want to be here cycling in the heat of the summer. The