15th March – Despite Freddy’s antics if the night before, the team wakes up in reasonable shape to face what we anticipate to be the most physical day of the trip.
Snow continues to fall heavily and everyone starts to get anxious as the path is likely to be inaccessible or would require heavy work to clear the way over dozen of kilometers. Despite a common interest to push on rapidly before more snow blocks the path, some teams take an extended time to pack up, making us leave relatively late.
We leave the hotsprings at 10:00 and only after 3kms, the german boys bike stops.
Their clutch cable snapped*.
The cable is too short to create a fix and the location where the cable snapped, right on the lever, makes it impossible to simply tie a knot and start again.
As an initial panic, Freddy spastically calls for support truck (mothership). His attempt at calling “Mothership, Mothership, Mothership, this is Freddy” on multiple occasion quickly sound ridicule and attracks the laughter of the whole group and quickly becomes the catch phrase within the group for excessive assistedness.
What was supposed to be a 30 min job max for Clutch cable replacement/fix, is now a 3hrs frustrating stop under heavy snow fall.
Luckily, the support team stop by with the rest of the group. They have a new clutch cable! A snow ball fight ensues as everyone is looking to kill time while the bike is finally getting repaired.
We move on under slightly improved conditions.
The road ahead is tricky and Freddy jumps many times out of seat to push the bike through big snow piles or steep inclines.
Michael still get the bike going under most circumstances and apart for one tight corner manage to keep the bike on the road.
Here is how they tend to clear up the snow up in the davan pass
After a few hours running, our turn to break down. Machine stop suddenly. We lost all electrics. We struggle to initial find the cause despite using a multimeter.
Luckily one of the other team is familiar with those issues and help us repair a damaged cable.
We push on an finally cross the pass. The way down the mountain is difficult as our break are very weak to inexistent.
After a full day riding we stop at a roadside cafe where other teams have stopped for coffee and food.
From a short stop we turn this modest trucker cafe into an Ice Run HQ, ordering all their food and drink and finally deciding to turn into our dancefloor and sleeping camp in the shed.
A very fun night with fireworks, cigars, moonshine vodka briught by local gipsy kids and a green gorilla dancing to scottish hard rock.
*: for those of you who have our mechanical skill level, a clutch cable helps you change gears. The cable is connected to the left hand lever of your steering. When pressing the lever, the cable push in the clutch and disconnect the motor from the drive.