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I arrive in Flagstaff with serious business to attend to. My trusty bike has taken a beating over the last five months and my lower gears, despite some maintenance work at the Canyon, are no longer functioning. The chain won’t stay on the smallest ring under any kind of load.

Luckily, I have been set up with the perfect contact. Josh runs an online business which supplies cyclists, and especially touring cyclists, with all sorts of things they need – trailers, panniers, lights, fastenings. Josh, and his girlfriend Melanie, have offered me a bed in their spare room and Josh has all sorts of bike related information and advice to sort out me and my bike.

Josh and Melanie treat me to dinner and make me very comfortable in their house.

On Josh’s recommendation, I go to AZ Bikes where Bryce, the owner, sells me the parts that I need to fix my bike and, very kindly, lets me use his workshop to do the work myself, under his expert supervision.

Replacing the rings. The middle one is worn and the smaller one bent.

Replacing the rings. The middle one is worn and the smaller one bent.

My bike, on the stand.

My bike, on the stand at AZ Bikes.

The bit that hurts - paying for the parts - but Bryce very generously didn't charge anything for the time he spent helping me.

The bit that hurts - paying for the parts - but Bryce very generously didn't charge anything for the time he spent helping me.

After a couple of very satisfactory days in Flagstaff, Josh and Melanie guide me out of town on their tandem, undeterred by the icy wind.

Josh and Melanie on their tandem.

Josh and Melanie on their tandem.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Alex | December 8, 2009 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    hey anna
    good to hear that you are heading the same way… We have actually changed our plans somewhat due to three days of people telling us not to cross at Columbus. We are now in El Paso and taking a bus straight to Chihuahua. Palomas has recently had an increase in problems so we thought that we would skip this top part, just to be safe.
    Hatchita is a ghost town as you have probably found out.
    Safe travels and maybe see you down the way…

  2. anna | December 12, 2009 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Hi Alex,

    I crossed at Antelope Wells which was a pretty quiet border post. The border crossing was actually a really cool experience – to be related when I get up to date with the blog – an endless task.

    I’ve been travelling with some guys I met up with in New Mexico and we’ve been riding part of the Great Divide Ride through the mountains – so we had safety in numbers – there were four of us for the crossing. We look pretty ragtag, not prime kidnapping prospects, I think.

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