Monday, 7 July 2008

Fwd: Amundsen

Roald Amundsen made the first flight across the north pole from Spitzbergen to Teller, 70 miles north of Nome some time in the 1920's in an airship. There's a magnificent sculpture of his face in Front Street and I'll try to send a photo with this. The three of us are going on a guided tour to Teller tomorrow as the ice seems firmly fixed up at Barrow for the time being.

This morning, I borrowed a bike from the man behind the bar and rode to the base of Anvil Peak with heavyweight nik. M.B. T. B  is a robust 75 or so, with  much shorter legs than me, and Nome is flat so he doesn't use any of his 18 gears above the lowest. Low seat and barely effective gear change  made for an interesting ride out of town through the gravel patches and up the 4 miles or so of gentle hill out to the peak. I hid the bike in a bush, then climbed the scree slope up to where the road crosses diagonally and followed that up to the 4 big microwave antennae. Worth the climb. Then I broke all the safety rules and cut across the tundra around the side of the peak and back down to the bike, taking pictures of the lovely, delicate wildflowers and collecting some snow in a bottle on the way. Pics will be on cd posted to Hasta la Speedy tomorrow.

Paul – thanks for the Kiwi advice – I had intended to do the adjustment when Berri was on the hard at RPA but the pitch seemed ok. Could perhaps do with one turn now. Dismantled the gear linkage again by impossibly contorting torso, arms and wrists, but I'm sure it's ok. The problem is that there is no thump as the gear engages in ahead. Just possibly might be that the pitch is too fine to provide the necessary resistance. I don't know and neither does John, but we'll watch it carefully…

Email from Spanish boat Amodina – headbutting the northerlies 2 days ago, 200 miles south and no sign of her yet on the flat calm horizon.