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The repairs

Published: 15 July 2001

FOR a man who confesses to having no mechanical aptitude whatever, Duncan Goose was very, very lucky. He learnt as he went along, ran into the right people at the right time and picked a bomb-proof bike that hardly lost its reliability over 42,000 miles.

But the ability to improvise is essential. Friendly dealers are not an option in Peru, and if you lack imagination with old Fairy Liquid bottles and chewing gum, you’ll soon develop it…

Bodge A: Auxiliary fuel carrier. Unscrew one aluminium window latch from abandoned dwelling. Bend into right angle and bolt to rear mudguard. Sit petrol can on window latch and secure with shredded inner tube and cable ties.

Bodge B: Frame repair. Meet professional frame-builder Johnny Severin, of True Torch, completely by chance in Los Angeles. Allow him to spend a day straightening and re-welding the entire frame (after accident in Canada) for free.

" He was the consummate pro, " said Goose. " He kept saying it’s not quite right when it looked perfectly good to me. "

Bodge C: Drive sprocket fix. Locate roadside engineer in Pakistan and ask what he can do to fix shagged gearbox output shaft. Enjoy the sun while he welds sprocket to shaft and listen as big-hearted policeman instructs welder that under no circumstances is he to request payment for a full day’s labour or materials on account of the client " being a guest in our country " . Buy welder gift. " He wasn’t going to ask for any money or anything anyway. " Get taken to welder’s house and enjoy slap-up dinner with family. Proceed to Iran.

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