The day started a lo cooler than the day before. Given the we were planning to ride about 80 km that was a bonus. Specially after sleeping in an albergue with 30+ people.
We had a great breakfast and packed. Headed out to get our biomes and mount the panniers and I found that one of the bikes a a flat front tire. Minor setback. Tire fixed we headed out with some 30 minutes delay.
On our way out of Puente la Reina we took some pictures and pushed forward. Rode thru some cool places, including a real Roman road, or what is left of it and crossed a couple of Roman bridges. Roman as in from the Roman Empire.
Then we passed thru wine spigot at Irache. This is a place where you can drink really good wine from a spigot. I filled my water bottle with wine got my pilgrim passport stamped and had a nice time with a Polish group cycling the Camino.
Did some nice trails on our way to Arcos. That was when Chris, my riding buddy boinked. He fell behind and I had to wait for him for quite a while. I was getting ready to go back after him when he finally showed up. He was not looking so great. But we pushed on hoping that after all the climbing the downhill was very near. And indeed it was. I rode downhill like a bat out of hell. So fast that I ended up catching the Polish group.
Then Robert, one of the Polish cyclist, sort of started racing me. Because boys will be boys I took him on and started riding very fast. It was fun! That is until my front chain got sucked in the front gears ripping the rear dérailleur clean from the mount. The derailleur got socked in by the wheel and bent the chain in several places. What a mess!
I called the rental guy and he aSked me to get to the nearest town by setting the chain to a fix length. I tried that and then rode for 800 feet before the chain completely broke. At that point I was ready to push the bike all the way to the next town. But then I realized that the next town was 10 km away. So we rigged a tow line made with a inner tube and a cable lock. And because Chris was almost out of it I took his bike and towed him all the way to Arcos. All the way people were either amused or impressed with the whole thing. Despite all of this I was having fun and laughing my ass off all the way to Arcos.
When we arrive to the square by the church in Arcos we were loudly greeted by our wine drinking polish friends. Yes the square took full notice of our less than glamorous arrival. I just enjoyed my brief moment of fame and loudly laughed back and wave in a gesture of victory. Food was rapidly ordered for Chris and I.
I then reconnected with our bike rental guy and he arranged for Raul to pick us up and take us to a bike shop for an assessment of the incurred damages.
The mechanic listed the following: missing chain, broken dérailleur, bent spokes and wrong type of crankset on the bike. He explained that the crankset that was installed in Pamplona is not for this frame, chain dérailleur combination and that the chain suck was a matter of time. My time was up then. He also said that there was no chance of a fast repair mostly due to the lack of parts.
A new bike was then ordered to be delivered in Nájera at one of their bike shops. Raul then drove us and our bikes to Nájera, where we checked in to our hotel and enjoyed a great meal and a nice night of sleep.
All accounted for we rode 48 km. 10 of those kilometers I was towing boinked Chris on my bike.
I hope that the new bike is in better shape and that all my mechanical issues are in the past.
One thing worth noting is during my towing part, we asked a Brazilian named Guinter and a Chinese named Nancy if the had some food for Chris and they promptly offered anything they had on hand. My helmet goes off to them. The world needs more people like them.
From Nájera I wish you all a Buen Camino.