Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Brakes

Day 60
Wanaka Rest Day #2

We’ve had our first gear casualty of the trip – Chris’ rear brakes. He was limited to his front brakes on our last ride a couple of days ago. A few times he forgot that he couldn’t use the rear and had to stop his bike and manually pull apart the brake arms. With another high pass to climb on Monday there was no choice but to replace them.
Last evening we found a real bike shop in town and made plans to return this morning. We rode into town early and Chris headed off to the bike shop while I visited the DOC (Dept of Conservation) Visitor Center. I was getting more information about our upcoming backpacking trip. I found Chris later at the bike shop where he had made himself at home in the mechanic’s area. He was installing his new brakes himself.
Apparently he wasn’t invited back there, but asked politely and then went to work. I guess you have to do what you have to do.
We spent the next half hour chatting with one of the mechanics. He was probably tired of my endless questions about life in Wanaka and all of the biking here. Luckily, he patiently answered each question. We came to find out that life in Wanaka was very similar to life in any mountain resort town. He said “most people move here and they’re focused on one sport, but after a matter of time they end up doing all kind of things, really”. We also learned that he was a dedicated racer who worked hard and trained harder. He shared that he had taken a break last year but found himself back at it. Once a racer, always a racer I guess.
One question he asked us was “after doing all the biking you have done, how do you find riding at such a slow pace?” My answer: “I’m working on finding my patience…”

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