Vilnius, km 0

Actually, it’s more like kilometre 6, because I spent the morning riding around old Vilnius trying to figure out how to deal with the fact that only one of two pieces needed to hang my handlebar bag was in the bike box.

I paid someone to pack it I’m Toronto because I was busy and Triadventure and a screaming cold and I had to take Smith to the airport for his last day… the bike was packed beautifully, but a piece was missing from the bar bag and there was an errant note from the mechanic to Dave about Rob mcgyvering the rear disk… I sure hope that wasn’t about my bike.

Anyway, the bike box went astray in Germany en route to Lithuania, so by the time I got here I decided to just hire someone to put it together. I dragged the bike box over 1.5 km of cobblestones yesterday, and a nice woman named aster put it together for 5 euros and offered to keep the box until I get back.

Which was great, but when I went to pack up this morning, a piece was missing from the handlebar bag. Which I need because paper maps.

So off I trot back to the basement bike shop, and it’s closed, so I trot back and do some packing and shower, then trot back again and search the box. It’s in the back of the crowded little shop, with the hot plate. Clearly Frankas lives here.

Frankas is helping tourists get ready to rent bikes for the day while I scour the box… which does not contain what I need. Maybe Rob used it to Mcgyver something else.

So I ask Frankas if I can rent a handlebar bag, and he produces a battered thing with no map cover. I decide it’s better than nothing and the young Russian Nikita tries to put it on.

Putting it on involves a complicated system of weaving a frayed wire around the handlebars, but the final one won’t go in. He and I spend half an hour trying to fix it, when it won’t go on OR off. I’m conscious that I have to check out of my hotel and all my stuff is spread all over my room.

Finally he yanks it off, I thank them and leave without a bag. I ride madly to the fancier bike shop where I bought a light yesterday and it’s still closed.

Back over the cobbles to the hotel, where I do some mcgyvering of my own, and use zip ties to replace the missing brace. It’s wonky but better then the wire thingy we were trying to do at the shop.

I pack. Check out. Take a deep breath, and for the first time, look at my maps.

Off to Trakai, my first stop. I need a nap.


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