I had three days in New Zealand between Canada and heading up to the Pacific Islands on mission. Unfortunately I was a bachelor as my wife Lis was still in Canada. I arrived in Nelson on a bright clear Friday morning and after dropping my bags off did what any jet lagged traveller would do after 20+ hours of flying—grabbed my mountain bike and went for a ride at Rabbit Island.
It was a great way to blow out the cob webs from such a long flight. With the crisp late winter temperature, brilliant blue sky, the fresh air, and the ocean near by it was good to be alive. Of course all good things come to an end, and my bliss was shattered with a strange wobble in my rear wheel. I thought I’d broken some spokes but they were all tight. Then I realised what had happened: the suspension bolt had fallen out. The bike was totally unrideable.
I searched the ground and could not find it. Since I was 13.5 km from home, and there was no hope of a rescue from my long suffering wife, I had to either walk it back or find a solution. I thought what would I have done had this happened on the Tour Divide (of course I’d have been crazy to take a suspension bike on the race!). I then came up with the solution. I’d take my multi tool and put it through the missing bolt. That worked, but as I rode it came loose. So I used the rubber bands from my Garmin computer mount and they held it in place. In fact, the repair was so good I got all the way home, without having to take it too easy. So it didn’t completely ruin my day.
As my father would say, let’s hear it for Mickey Mouse Mechanics. But it worked!