March 17, 2024

Day 80: Loulé (Cycling - Cut Short!)

The cycling, whilst it lasted, was very good today. If yesterday's ride was a three out of ten, then today's was looking like a 10/10! That was, until disaster struck!

Unfortunately, just about half way through the route the bike suffered a mechanical: the cable used to operate the rear derailleur, which engages the desired gear at the rear wheel, broke! Worse, it broke inside the gear changer.

The funny thing was I'd noticed earlier in the ride that the gear shifting was not as smooth today (some noise could be heard when in the lower gears) and thought I'd take a look at the them when I reached my planned stop in São Bartolomeu de Messines. I thought it was a bit odd that they should suddenly not be working as they should. I did not think that the cable was about to break - Another lesson learnt!

The upshot was that I was left with two gears (gears 8 and 19) rather than twenty-two. Therefore, rather than continue on the designated route of the day, I decided to return directly to Loulé. Although my primary reason for doing so was due my concern that I may encounter excessive gradients that may force me to walk, rather than cycle, I still had to deal with a fairly long stretch of 10% gradient - fortunately walking was not required!

So, today's ride was cut short by approximately 25 kilometres (about 15.5 miles).

Now, you may recall that a similar cable breakage occurred recently. Well the cable that broke previously was for the front derailleur! Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have changed the cable that broke to day when I changed the previous cable, but it did not look worn at the time. Moreover, today's cable actually broke inside the cable shifter, rather than externally, which was the case previously.

Anyway, on return, because it was rather hot, I, perhaps stupidly, delayed starting the repair and, since it turned out to be much more of an issue than I first thought, I was unable to complete the repair before the sun went to bed! - A small piece of the cable remained trapped in the gear shifter, which required disassembly of the shifter in order to remove it! The repair will continue at first light tomorrow ... well, more likely, a short while after breakfast!

I did get to cycle through California!

Before doing so I came across this climb sign and wondered if you could choose the gradient you were happy to climb at! Or, perhaps it was a council job and, they'd return to complete the job at some future date!

Here there was no ambiguity as to the gradient, nor the distance you'd have to overcome:

And when I arrived at this location, it was obvious there was a descent before what looked like, and was, a steep ascent!

Other than the cable issue, it was a good day! I'd definitely return to complete the original route.

  • Distance driven: 0
  • Distance cycled: 82 Kilometres
  • Weather: High cloud, temperatures in the mid twenties.

Today's ride: