I spend the day lazing around the hotel room waiting for the bike to be ready, hoping it will be. Eventually the taxi driver arrives and takes me to the workshop, where I discover my bike still largely in bits but with a perfectly welded rear sub frame and pannier rails. Nice!
I spend the evening hanging around the workshop as 4 people work on my bike till 7:30 at night on a Saturday, fixing everything they can find and taking enormous care over it. It’s brilliant.
Genie the boss gives me some stickers for the bike as a present. Igor the welder gives me a keyring made from an AK47 round. It’e very cool, and for as long as I have bikes it will be my on my keyring, but I wonder what airport security will make of it when I fly to Vancouver!
Igor is a fanatical coin collector. Unfortunately I’ve binned most of my coins from the numerous countries we’ve been too, so I cn only offer him a Euro, but he seems delighted with it.
The guys have welded the frame and pannier rails, replaced the split fork gaiters, changed the oil, adjusted the chain and a dozen other little things. The bike feels perfect.
Genie is into motocross on quad bikes and invites e to a race meet tomorrow but I’m anxious to get going, with the prize of Vladivostok being so close, on a dry day, after spending 2 days not riding, so I decline, jump on the bike and head south for Vlad, feeling hugely relieved and delighted to have my bike back feeling stronger than ever.
I don’t think these guys, and all the others that helped me find them, will ever know how grateful I am.