Surgery for Frida

I left Leenaun heading east, along the south edge of the fjord, then, reaching the end, doubled back, heading west along the north side, until cutting north to wind my way along river passages through the mountains.

Pretty barren and mountainous landscape. Quite beautiful. It looked like American westerns could have been filmed here.

Eventually, I came to the mountain that I couldn’t go around, so I had to go up and over. Very steep climb. I was going so slowly that my bicycle computer went to pause because it thought I had stopped pedaling. But I made it without walking, partly assisted by the fact that a car was behind me for the final push, and I couldn’t let them see me walk.

I rode into Westport, a very touristy town – not particularly to my liking, and stayed for the night.

In planning my route for the northwest if the country, I became discouraged by the lack of small, country roads in the scenic areas along the coast. It seems that, in most of that area, the only road is an “N”, the National Road, where drivers travel at high speeds and there are typically no shoulders.

I don’t find riding on those types of roads to be particularly enjoyable. And, as I am not doing this to suffer, I decided to rent a car for four days to do a quick tour of the north.

So I headed east from Westport to the Knock airport where the rental cars are located. About a 35 mile ride.

This was a very hilly ride. That wouldn’t bother me so much except for the fact that I had a deadline to get to the rental company before they closed and the hills were really slowing me down. And the routing app at one point took me on a dirt farm road. Mercifully, that didn’t last too long. But the ensuing roads weren’t much better. Very bumpy.

When I was about 12 miles from the airport, I noticed a heavy drag on the rear wheel. I pulled over and discovered that a bolt that holds the rear rack to the frame had sheered off. The bike was unrideable.

So I searched for a cab, but this was a pretty remote place. Miraculously, there was a cabbie within a few miles of me. I sent him a picture of my location from Google maps, and he was there in ten minutes.

After the cabbie was on his way, a woman emerged from the house I was parked in front of. We chatted, I explained the dilemma, and she offered to take me to the airport. As the cab was already on his way, I declined. Since Frida folds, I was able to put her in the cab’s trunk. Made it to the airport in time.

So I found a B&B in the nearby town of Charlestown. It looked a little dicey from the outside, but it had good reviews. It was great.

After a great meal prepared by the talented chef/proprietor, I went down the street to Finan’s, the oldest pub in town. Really authentic, located in the rear of a hardware shop.

The next morning, I went to the tool rental/bike shop for help with Frida. He had the bolt, but couldn’t help with the bolt extraction. So I went down the road to the auto repair shop. He dropped what he was doing and was able to drill the bolt out without damaging the threads – practically impossible to do. So then I went back to the bike shop for a repair stand and tools and fixed the problem.

So that occupied the morning. The rest of the day was spent hiking to Neolithic burial megaliths.

At Foley’s pub in Sligo for the obligatory pint before dinner.

2 thoughts on “Surgery for Frida

  1. Dang those shearing bolts! The only one I’ve had do that was on my rear rack, on the way to Yoga from work. I heard it go, stopped, found what the problem was, determined I could safely complete my ride to class, then home, and took my bike to a bike shop for probably the same surgery that your repairman performed. Hopefully, your replacement bolt is more substantial than the original.

    No shame in driving on bad roads. Riding on them, however, is just bad. Glad you chose not to.

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    1. I think the bolt had loosened. Then the VERY rough road jostled the pannier to the point it broke the bolt. These are the kind of roads that have a grass strip down the middle. One lane road. Really rough riding lane.

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