Day 8

Strike negotiations

Today started off kinda nice, I rode a longer distance than necessary yesterday and wanted to repeat that, crossing the Finnish nothingness as fast as possible and gaining some time on my plan.

Well, of course nothing ever goes according to plan. Around 40km into my ride, right after crossing the “capital of northern Scandinavia” Oulu, another spoke broke.
I was cursing the bike shop. Then wondering if I was too heavy for the wheel. But then I noticed how just the replaced spokes from the shop are breaking, right at the head. I don’t know, but maybe the dude used too small spoke heads… Anyways, I had an so called “emergency spoke”, which is basically a Kevlar string that you can put into the wheel. The normal replacement spokes I had were no use, since it broke on the drive train side, right behind the casette, where you can’t reach.

While fixing everything far enough to ride to the next shop, a group of cyclists passed. I flagged them down and asked for directions. They had a better idea and called their buddy, who arrived minutes later with the toolbox necessary to remove the casette.
So, I was again on the road merely am hour later, thanks to the help of those cyclists. I’m still kinda pissed, because I don’t really know who is at fault/what’s going on. I wanted to avoid this whole situation, which is why I gave the wheel to the shop in Trondheim, and now I don’t know whether they fucked it up (which is not unlikely, since they admitted to having forgotten about the wheel and and kinda did it last minute job after having it for 2 weeks) or if I just treat the whole thing wrong and am riding way over the recommended weight for such a wheel (which I doubt. But you never know).

Anyway, being all ready to head further inland, my knees soon began to complain more and more. With me adjusting the bike position every 2nd day, I was shifting the pain around. The theory in my head was, that by doing so I’d after a while would have to find the sweet spot, where my muscles start hurting before my knees (never had sore muscles on this trip). By now I generally have a good idea about what to do according to where the pain is, and since the discomfort was in different positions of both knees, I knew it wasn’t the saddle but the cleat position, with which each shoe locks into the pedals.

All adjustments didn’t help and after around 90km my right leg went into strike. Since there was a city only 12km out, I started negotiations with said leg, while the left tried it’s best to keep all of us going.
I offered a shower and a proper bed to my right leg in turn for cooperation to reach the next town. This kinda did the trick, but sadly this town doesn’t have anything to offer. A supermarket is about the only thing it has.

So, my leg and me came to the agreement to cut the day short and postpone further negotiations till tomorrow. It’s raining anyway…

Next Post: Day 9: Woke up early today!

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