Bogotá to Neiva
It’s been ages…. I’ve missed yall… (I don’t think anyone even reads this thing). I’ll once again try to be better. I’m going to continue telling about the trip from Bogotá down although I’ve recently crossed the Argentinian border. Someday I’ll catch up to the present I swear.
Coming back from the salsa-spectaculo in Cali we had trouble remembering how much time we had spent in Bogotá. It begin to dawn on us that we’d better get moving as I have a permanent fear of the dreaded “rainy season” and perhaps between my being a “couchy” and Heidi’s nerves derived from starting a long bicycle trip we had been in Bogotá a touch too long.
One day out of Bogotá and Heidi received her first flat. Fixing it we set off anticipating the long downhill that awaited, Bogotá sitting way up high at ~2,600 meters and Neiva down low in the central valley at 442 meters. On the way down a dog jumped out at Heidi and she experienced a semi-explosive flat, resulting in some swerving, her deflating back tire skating and a big fall. Luckily she rolled away with only bruising and nothing permanent! Heading on once more she experienced 4 more flats, the tire sliding contrary to the rim and the tire valve cutting at it’s base against the valve-hole in the rim. I had never experienced any tire failure similar and it became very exasperating towards the end of the day and the end of our tire supply (my having repaired a couple, special tactics included). We ended up walking into the next small town and catching a ride to the next bigger one in search of a mechanic.
We got more tubes and I started marking the tire in relation to the rim to monitor its travel and the problem continued. Finally we made a trip back to Bogotá, thinking that the only thing it could be was the rim. Nobody having ever heard of the problem we were having, we left the city with a new wheel (we had originally considered building her a new set of wheels in any case for the trip). A few more flats and a broken spoke later (how much can go wrong in so short of time? I had traveled thousands of kilometers trouble free) had me out of tricks (swapping tires around from my bike to hers etc) and I went on my bike to change the spoke (my spokes are different length and we neglected to bring extras for Heidi). Some time-trial cyclists in the plaza took me to a good mechanic and he did wonders on the wheel but didn’t know anything about our problem either. In the end he prescribed more pressure in the tires and pumped the tire up to a suitable level with a floor pump. Crossed fingers and we were off once more.
And it worked.
Not sure why, having my tires pumped in the same manner for a long time, hers didn’t work the same. We’re now sure to keep them pumped up especially in steep down-hill sections and have been flat free for a long time.
We went relatively without trouble from then on into the heat of the desert and were able to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the the trip arriving to Neiva.
-Off on a bicycle trip again.
-Beautiful desert scenery.
– Tire solutions (after tire problems).
-Nightmare bike troubles resulting in: a semi-permanent equipment distrust for me and a more permanent fear of dogs for Heidi.
-Lots of heat after the coolness of Bogotá.