The story will get back to Adelaide eventually, so I might as well tell it myself.
Bike touring the Hay Plain, 2 weeks, recently.
Day 1, depart Hay for the bush... @ 3 km in right hand pedal wobbles and falls out of the crank. Pedal is fine; ally crank has stripped thread.
No bike shop within 200 km; text friends to post new crank up from Adelaide (thanks Liz & Andrew) while still in mobile range. Meanwhile, how not to lose 4 days riding?
Evening, filed out crank, jammed it full of mouldable plastic filler - the stuff they sell in car shops for repairs and call things like "liquid metal".
Day 2 - plastic worked well. @ 4 km in suddenly crumbled under pressure. Pedal fell off bike again. Plastic fatigue.
Evening, tried the Bolt Solution. [This inspired by dept. stores where entire bikes are constructed on the principles, ball bearings are not necessary, because plastic surfaces will turn OK round metal axles]
I got a 5/16 in bolt, put a nut on, wrapped PVC tape round the thread 'til it just fitted into the stripped-out axle with 1 cm thread out the other side. Put a nut on that. Tightened nuts against each other to hold the bolt on crank. I could use bolt as makeshift pedal but decide against. Used cable ties to strap the existing pedal on to bolt [i.e whole pedal turning round the bolt.]
Day 3: Bolt-pedal feels OK, works well, keeping pace with other riders.
@ 27 km - bolt shears at the crank, pedal falls off bike again. Metal fatigue due to drag? Solution; rebuild with the thickest bolt I can get my hands on .
Day 4: Bolt-pedal II feels OK, rode 60 km. Cable ties needed oil every 15 km otherwise they squeak with dust.
Day 5: another 60 km. Bush Treadlers support crew drove to Balranald to pick up the new crank at the post office.
Evening - at a remote hall in the middle of the Hay Plain, we discover the new crank does not fit, as specs have changed. Lots of discussion with Ken, Robert and Gary... drilling and hammering of brand new crank, remove smallest chain ring, add 8 links to chain, and all is OK.
Days 6-12: Enjoyable time touring the Hay Plain by bike.
Now, all this is good fun ... especially having ridden 120 km on a half inch bolt ... except ... when at Hay the pedal began to feel loose. I suddenly remembered, it also felt loose the last time the bike was out in Adelaide. Musing about that time, I also recalled, thinking; "I must look at that pedal before the ride, that seems serious" - Author of own miseries...
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