11 February 2007

Passing through from Germany

One Sunday last month I had an emergency at the office and I rushed in the car. As I was driving the car home in Sakina area where all the bars abound I met a long distance bicyclist coming the other way pursued by a couple of local riders.

Cool I thought as I continued home, wish that was me.

I didn't get much further when I started thinking he could use a home stay and I like discussing their routes etc.

I turned around and chased him down .

"You need any assistance I yell out the window."

"yah maybe"

I pull the car over and he stops. He points to the crank and I figure it needs some repairs/maintenance that I can probably do for him. So I offer a bed as it is 5pm.

His english is minimal. I learned his name later that night it is Frank Blume.

Turns out the problem was the pedal. I never heard how the problem started but the fix done in Nairobi was to bore out the hole for the right pedal on the crank, screw in insert, some brazing and somehow it is a couple degress crooked. And you cant take it off for service.

I look around for a crank but he pointed out that all mine are solid and square and his is hollow and splined crank. New bike! I also almost bugger the spindle taking the crank arm off.

I scratch my head and we pantomine our discussions what to do.

I pantomine we will take the crank arm to a friend tomorrow. It is Sunday night , which is pizza night so Nashesha and I take him to dinner. Mom is in South Africa on a trip. Afterwards I fall asleep watchin his slides.

The next morning we drop the crank at a shop near my house and Frank will go with Kaindi and see what they can do. We discuss and agree to put in another insert.

Me, I have all sort of problems at work so I don't see Frank until 8pm that night. We check it out in the dark and it doesn't look like what i wanted.

Immediately I realize when I am taking the pedal off the the insert also comes off and and the brazing pieces on the end mess up the threads.

Next day we try again and I stand around and make sure they put a flange on the outside and a washer on the inside. another couple hours standing around and we have what does the trick. When Frank was in Dar 600km down the road he said it was okay.

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