Trelew - Northbound from Argentina through Brazil - CycleBlaze

January 20, 2011


Yesterday, was spend updating the journal and reading. And today is my second day here in Trelew. I visited the museum, Pueblo de Luis, or Town of Lewis in English, after Lewis Jones one of the founders of the Welsh colony in Argentina. The museum didn't hold too must interest. The most interesting exhibit, I thought, was the origin of the word Chubut from the Tehuelche word for the Province's principal and namesake river. The first white men wrote it various ways, Chuwee or Chupat for example. To the indigenous people of the area the word meant river of the clear still water. Other than this exhibit, it was just lots of black and white photos of the first colonists, old photos of the town and lots of old household effects from the 19th century up to the 1970s, so I won't say any more. The museum is housed inside the old railway station. This is the first building in Trelew, build in 1886 in then open countryside when it was decided that the new railway from Puerto Madryn to the Chubut Valley should terminate here. The city grew up round it thereafter. It was perhaps a little place for a long time as most of the buildings are that ugly concrete tasteless variety from 1950 onwards, but in amongst the centre are pretty structures from the early years. I took some photos. But the day was mainly a bikefix day.

The bandstand in the Plaza, Trelew.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The old railway-station. Now a museum.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Army headquarters.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The national bank building with it's clock tower from 1922 in trelew which mainly looks like this today.
Heart 0 Comment 0

My bottom-bracket, instead of having a firm tight feel to it when I periodically check it for play, has been rocking from side to side. It's been this way since I left the Province of Misiones, though only a little then. I wanted to get the bearings changed that time I'd a new cassette and chain fitted in Paysandu, back in Uruguay, but the bikeshop didn't do it, but they did turn my chain-ring so the chain wouldn't slip saving me buying a new ring, and that was a more urgent job then. So I overlooked the fact they'd done nothing to the bottom-bracket. It has not given me any problems yet but I wanted to replace it now before it does.

The last time I's in Trelew I had the bikeshop build me a new back wheel. They used the best spokes they had which were flat and aerodynamic, meant for road racing and time-trailing. The theory is with these spokes, is because they're flat, they cannot turn as they are laced next each other, so the wheel doesn't go mush out of true, and so there's less chance of spokes breaking.

The bikeshop here is amongst the best. It's on Avenida San Martin, six or seven blocks from the plaza. The man that runs it is a joy to watch when he works on your bike. The last time I was here, he was present when the mechanic that build the wheel had difficulty putting the tyre back on that difficult tight Mavic MA2 rim I've on the back. The mechanic resorted to using a tyrelever to put the last part on. He grabbed the wheel out of his hand, chastising him for being so unprofessional and proceeded to pump a little air into the innertube after he'd taken the beading of the rim all round. Then, he made it look so easy as he lifted the tyre's beading onto the rim the whole way round, finishing with the last bit next to the valve, which is usually the first part I put on.

There used to be a time when bottom-brackets were nothing more than ball-bearings in cups. And it was a simple job to unscrew both ends out off the frame, provided you'd taken the care to periodically loosen then and tighten them up again so that they didn't become seizes and impossible to unscrew. I remember if on rocking the cranks there was play, it was simply a matter of cleaning out the cups, and packing new grease along with new balls. The only cost was a few pence for the balls and a couple of quid for grease which went a long way.

Today, the hollowtech Shimano crank and bottom-bracket uses a Rulleman bushing type bearing. It's cheap if the old worn Rulleman is pushed out of the cups and new ones pressed in, but dear if it comes as a complete Shimano unit of cups with the Rullemans already pressed in. The former was the case back in early September, my first time pasting through Paysandu, when the bikeshop just pushed the old bearings out and pressed new bearings in. It cost 100 Uruguayan pesos (£3.5). However, here in Trelew the shop put in a complete Shimano unit costing 250 Argentine Pesos (over £40).

The other thing I'd to take care of was change the tires around. The back tire has quite a bit of ware so I wanted to change it to the front. But could I get the last bit of the tyre on that difficult Mavic rim, no. My thumbs are now blistered and so too are the heals of my hands. I sweated for almost an hour, and finally put the tyre that had been on the back back on again as it's beading is somehow pliable and easy to get over the rim. I'm tonight disappointed.

Tomorrow I plan to visit Gaiman.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0