A Not-So-Wee Issue

Loaded in Scotland.

Loaded in Scotland.

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in Scotland for a week. A lot has happened in that time. And perhaps even more has NOT happened in that time. As previously established, my preferred method of posting updates is on a daily basis or at least sequentially. It’s an approach I feel has been generally successful. Of course, in the past my blog wasn’t hindered by technical difficulties that prevented me from accessing it for a week. That said, those issues appear to have been resolved – leaving me free to deal with any other issues that come along. Spoiler Alert: Other issues have come along.

I would say with great confidence that last year’s tour across Canada, down the Pacific coast and then across the southern U.S.A. went off essentially without incident (headwinds don’t count in this case). With the exception of a couple of flat tires and a broken spoke on the final day of the tour, my beloved bicycle and I fared very well. Sadly, this trip has not started out quite as well. Or even remotely.

The purpose of this update is really to get things up to date as to where my situation currently stands. Daily updates from days gone by will follow later.

Currently my situation has me in Oban on the the west coast of Scotland. And I expect to remain here in Oban for the next several days. I guess I should point out that I’m fine and in one piece. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for my bike. Well, it’s in one piece but that piece has a significant bend in it. It’s rideable, as evidenced by the fact that I rode it in its current condition for about 40 km in order to get me to Oban. However, Mark (at Oban Cycles) wasn’t very optimistic that I should continue to do so given the duration of my ride that is still remaining.

Welcome to Oban

Welcome to Oban

So to summarize, what HASN’T happened is much cycling. On the second day of riding, I messed up on the ferry schedule which left me on the Isle of Islay for a few days waiting for the next ferry. It’s a small island. On the upside, I did three distillery tours during that time.

What HAS happened is that one of my front panniers briefly came in contact with the side of a bridge and, well … that brief contact turned into significant contact and the result was the front of the bike stopped instantly. The back of the bike did not stop quite so instantly and what was left was a bend in the front forks and a slight buckling of the bike frame. Translation: Broken bike.

I'm not going to lie, this picture hurts me.

I’m not going to lie, this picture hurts me.

And that essentially brings us to now. My limited options (as far as I can tell) are as follows:

1. I can abort the rest of my ride;
2. I can ride my damaged bike which may or may not survive the trip;
3. I can buy a new bike and carry on;
4. I can tour the UK and Europe by some means other than via bicycle.

Obviously, none of these options are particularly appealing (okay, #4 wouldn’t be all bad) but I have opted to go with door #3. Side note: Replacing the frame COULD be an option but because it’s an old frame the costs of transferring my components (where possible) and then adding in any new components … blah blah blah … it’s cheaper and easier to get a new bike. Either way, neither are available immediately which is why I’ll be in Oban for a few days. Repairing the frame may also be possible but that option isn’t available locally either.

Needless to say this is all more than a little disappointing (understatement of the day) … “crushing” would be more accurate (have I ever mentioned how much I love my bike?). On the flip side, as a friend pointed out, “Better to be stranded in Scotland than stranded in Ontario”. I can’t argue with that.

Posting detailed updates from the past week is my next task. Stand by.

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