April 10, 2024

Day 104: Antequera (Mechanical III)

Getting closer to the high point of the day ... only about four kilometres to go:

You go years and years of cycling without any issues then, in the space of a few months, your bike has three mechanicals that result in shortened rides.

Today the rear brake gave up the ghost! Never before have I had a rear brake fail on me. Unfortunately, the failure was such that a roadside repair was not possible.

The incident occurred at kilometre 42. Up to that point I'd been enjoying a pretty scenic, but tough, route: there was much climbing with many ramps in the 14 - 25 percent gradient range. Given that I'd completed the hardest sections of the route, I was tempted to complete the remaining 56 kilometres with just a working front brake.

However, I reasoned that although the probability of the front brake also failing on this ride was very small it definitely wasn't ZERO! Also, given the already traversed steep ascents and descents, a failure of my one and only working brake on a descent was not something I wanted to experience! Accordingly, I opted to return to the van directly, which was about 21 kilometres.

I was lucky that the failure actually occurred almost exactly where the outward and return paths crossed and, was pleased to photograph this facsimile of a famous painting (which, unfortunately was partially obscured by a bus stop shelter!) - Do you know the painter and title of the original work? I have been lucky enough to see the original, it resides in the National Gallery.

So, it wasn't all bad luck today. Especially as on my return I managed a "Heath Robinson" repair. Hopefully it will hold up for five days! On day six I'll be heading north for Calais!

Sometimes in life you've got to go down before (triumphantly) rising up again but, hopefully, in doing so it will make you stronger!

  • Distance driven: 0
  • Distance cycled: 63 kilometres
  • Weather: Sunny, on departure there was a strong cool south-easterly wind, veering to southerly in the afternoon, temperatures rising from about 13°C to high teens (but much warming if sheltered from wind).

Today's truncated route: