Across Continents

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Myth of indestructibility

Nothing is indestructible. Kit may be hard-wearing, robust. But eventually everything breaks, whether it be down to accidental damage or just plain usage. Of course, some things fare better than others. And generally you get what you pay for. You’d also be wise to stay away from house rabbits. Trust me on this one.

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People are often a bit surprised just how much in shape my trusty steed looks, especially after something in excess of two years on the road. True, I did, quite deliberately, invest in decent kit, the best I could afford. But even that needs quite a bit of looking after. But not too much. As the old adage goes, if it isn’t broken…

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So far nothing too serious. Bolt failure on one of my rear panniers easily fixed with a cable tie. A favourite first aid item with more uses than you might imagine. But only if you present a threat… The usual punctures – flats – but only nine of those so far. Little else worthy of mention.

Front tyre

The only real disappointment has been a Kevlar liner I bought in Anchorage, Alaska. Claimed to prevent punctures, it’s designed to sit between the inner tube and the inside tyre wall. And, to be fair, I didn’t get a single one. Instead, began to notice a distinct bulge in the tyre. Eventually discovering that the liner had – as the photo above shows – cut deep into the tyre. Not a cheap one, but a very robust Schwalbe Marathon Extreme off-road tourer. Similar with the rear. Good hundred plus bucks to replace before they blew out.

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