I have calmed down a bit since yesterday, but still have a little way to go before I can start being positive about moving forward. A nice chat with my parents helped to lift my mood and pull my mind out of the hole in which it’s found itself, making me realise that life is far bigger than this issue I’m having with my bike. My mood received a further boost late this afternoon when I made progress with getting the bike up and running again. Morat proved to be an excellent help, despite our entire interaction being over the phone. He called his brother Chockou, who came to the hotel to help out on Morat’s behalf. I sat with Chockou for a while as the conversation bounced back and forth between the three of us in a mix of Kazakh and English. Slowly, we formulated a plan. Chouckou and I would visit the local market and buy some drill bits, then we would find an electric drill and drill out the stuck bolt.

Buying the drill bits was easy, but we had to run around town for a while before finding someone with a drill. We drilled out the bolt but weren’t able to save the thread. The hole is now big enough for me to fit a nut and bolt in place of the original threaded bolt. Tomorrow I will refit the rack and wheel and find out if I am good to go. I will also email Santos with a full description of what has happened to see if they have advice about how compromised the integrity of the frame is.

Earlier in the day I spent my time catching up on cleaning (clothes, stove, sleeping bag liner, pillow cover, laundry bag, stove bag, kitchen kit bag, toiletry bag, tea towel, notepad wallet, thongs, riding sandals…nearly everything). I also looked at other issues I’m having with my bike, but not with great success. I tried and failed to refit the mirror – which broke off as I entered Kazakhstan, another thing that went wrong as I entered the country. I also tried and failed to adjust the strap on my left pedal – the bolt has rounded off and I can’t get a grip on it to loosen it. The list of things going wrong is adding up and I feel like I will never again be on top of everything. I guess this can be expected after using the bike and gear for so long, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Tonight I will be turning my hand to yet another thing that went wrong on my first night in Kazakhstan: my sleeping bag liner, which tore down the side and needs restitching.

I have been out of sorts all day, with my mind jumping here there and everywhere. As a result, I failed to eat properly, just managing to keep my hunger at bay with bread and dried fruit and nuts. I have just eaten a sub-standard pizza from the hotel, which was not very enjoyable but at least filled a hole. I am hoping tomorrow goes smoothly so I can feel back on track again.

Devastated

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 22,572km