"Ping" is the sound I've always read that a bike spoke makes when it breaks.  I'd never broken a spoke before.  It's something that typically happens to heavier riders, usually on the rear wheel, and I'm a lightweight, so I've been lucky.  This didn't sound like a "ping".

It happened when I was wheeling my beach cruiser bicycle from the sidewalk area in front of the Greenhouse grocery store in town onto the road, and I heard what sounded like a metallic crack.  It was loud and sounded like more than a "ping". I thought I had slammed my front crankset hard onto the edge of the curb somehow, just not paying attention.  A quick look didn't reveal anything obviously broken, so I got on and started riding, with Barry riding behind me.  

Hmmmm...what was that "whoosh-whoosh" sound?  The bike was riding fine, but something was obviously very wrong.  The sound was there even when I stopped pedaling, so that eliminated the crankset as the problem.  It was something in the front wheel, but what?  Tire wasn't flat.  The hub?  Then I thought about spokes.  I stopped the bike, and Barry and I looked.  Of course he saw it first.  Yep, a broken spoke.  Even though my bike is aluminum, the spokes are apparently just garden-variety steel, not of the stainless variety like Barry's are, and in this harsh marine environment, it had simply rusted through.  

I was able to ride the bike far enough to make it to one of the local bike repair shops, but the sound seemed to get louder, and I could see that my front wheel was beginning to wobble as I pedaled along.  When we got to the shop and I stopped, we could see that two spokes were actually broken, both on the same side of the wheel.  No wonder it was wobbling!  I was thankful that this happened today in town and not yesterday when we were riding way up north in Grand Belizean Estates.  There are no bike shops, nor much of anything else, up that way.

Fortunately, the friendly bike shop guy had just what we needed and was able to do the repair right away.  He commented that our bikes were very nice and we should always lock them up wherever we go.  (We do, or one of us stands guard.)  Soon after he started working on it, it started raining.  It had been beautiful and sunny when we left for town, so we didn't anticipate this sudden shower, but we were able to duck under the tin roof of a no-longer-open local eating hole very close to the shop.  

The repair and two spokes cost me $10 BZD ($5 US).  Actually, he charged me only $8 BZD, but I gave him $10 for fixing it in the rain and so quickly.  Sure beats the cost of a car repair in the US!
Picture
El Guapo = "The Handsome One" working on my bike
Picture
Staying out of the rain
 


Comments

Karaoke Joe
12/05/2011 15:48

Definitely the best bike repair shop on the island!

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BeBelize Emily
12/05/2011 16:07

Good to know! And so convenient...

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Sabrina
12/05/2011 17:08

How is your Spanish coming along?

~~_/)~~
Sabrina

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BeBelize Emily
12/05/2011 17:21

A little slowly, Sabrina. I was a lot better when we first moved in here and would do a lesson almost every day (I typically repeat each lesson 3-4 times to make sure it's really sunk in), but lately it's been more like a lesson every 2-4 days as we've been busier and had more to do. I have only myself to blame!

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Acerbelize
12/05/2011 20:14

Better get both wheels relaced with stainless steel spokes. If he doesn't have them in stock, ask for a quote, hope he can true it also.

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Acerbelize
12/06/2011 07:09

Dont forget ss nipples to go with those spokes!

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BeBelize Emily
12/06/2011 10:52

Yep, AcerBelize, I plan to do that. Thanks!

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kelliem
12/06/2011 15:22

I LOVE reading your blog, it is helpful to read your experience with moving to AC. My husband and I are planning to do the same in the next couple of years.

By the way, the bicycle repair man is VERY handsome!

Keep up the great blogging!!

Reply
BeBelize Emily
12/06/2011 15:52

Thanks kelliem! I am so glad you are finding our blog useful. Another good resource if you are on Facebook is the Belize Expats group, for current and future (wannabe) expats: https://www.facebook.com/groups/244200855602449/. Thanks for stopping by!

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