Fixing the bike again.

Okay so during the week I did not post a lot happened.  We were about to set off from Hanoi, three bikes in total.  I shouted “Ok to Mia Chau” and as I kick started the bike the accelerator cable snapped. I hadn’t even moved.  So whilst the bike was being repaired the other stood around anxiously waiting to get on the road, we had a long days ride ahead of us.

So new accelerator cable fitted and we were ready to go.  20 Minutes later however the sound of my bike went from a meer hum to an ear piercing roar.  I knew straight away what the problem was and looking down confirmed the exhaust was hanging off and grinding along the road.  “Fuck sake”.  So again we were waiting by the side of the road as my bike yet again was being repaired.

Ready to go again we headed for the outskirts of the city along route 6, here we stopped to look back and we all had the same spontaneous idea of sticking two fingers up in the air and exclaiming “Fuck you Hanoi”.  Hanoi of course is a great place what we were  referring too was the traffic and the noise which we were all too glad to get away from.

The third in our party decided he would turn back now, having only promptly took it upon himself to join us on a day out, had now realised he would not be able to make it back before dark.  I sensible decision on his part.

So now it was just Hugo and myself.  Along the way to Mai Chau I lost power and to my horror realised the accelerator cable had gone again.  Stopping by a cafe (if that’s what you could call it) we took the blasted thing apart for the second time and noticed it had infact not snapped but the part where it attached to the handle had sheered.  I was about to go look for a mechanic when Hugo thought we could fix it ourselves.  He was right, by using a piece of electrical wire we found by the side of the road in some trash we managed to get it back on and working.

The repair however became an ongoing thing and for some 5 times more I had to stop take the thing apart and re attach it.

In some of the remotest places from Hanoi to Mai Chau and from there to Son La and onto Sapa the bike was to give me endless amounts of trouble and the thing would just pack up and die on me several times.  For the most part though the bike did alright and got me over some rough terrain.  We took a wrong turn somewhere along the route.  The road began to look more and more in a state of dis-repair.  In the distance I could see a large bridge still in construction which would eventually take a road across the valley.  Further along the road the bridge got nearer.  No surely we weren’t heading for this.  We did.

Back on the correct road, the amazing sights we saw as the road increased in altitude up into the mountains.  The view was breathtaking.

At a point the road disappeared into the river and emerged some 600 foot on the other side.  Our only means of crossing was getting the bikes onto a long boat and paying the guy to take us across.  It was a bit unnerving at first as the boat rocked from side to side.  I was worried the bike would end up in the river.  Well not so much the bike but my belongings strapped to it.

It was not long after this river crossing when night was approaching in the middles of nowhere on a winding mountain road my bike just keeled over and died on me.  We tried everything to get the fucker working but to no avail.  Hugo had to tow me along these steep mountain roads for what would be another 30K to the nearest town.  My lights of course were out as the bike was not on, and for a small section Hugo’s lights mysteriously switched off.  It was horrible, dangerous, but all the same we had no intention of sleeping out by the side of the road under the night sky.

By the time we had finally made it to Sapa, after fixing the bike all along the way, it was now probably ready for the onward journey but I had lost confidence in it.  Regrettably missing out on Sapa I bought a train ticket and took the bike back to Hanoi to change for a better one.

This I did in one day and got another train straight back to Sapa.  The road less traveled continues.

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