Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crack in the Box

Last year when I had a fall in Namibia I did not only lose my bike and my reputation, but I also lost a couple of other things like some of my bike accessories. My insurance didn't cover my topbox, so I couldn't claim for the damage it sustained during the fall. A new box is well over R7000. The area around the latch that secures it to the top rack literally cracked and the box was found a few meter from where my bike actually hit the ground.

When I returned to South Africa I put the box away believing that repairing it would not be an option. Hell, biking wasn't even looking like an option any more.  As a matter of fact, I didn't even want to try because the box was totally scrapped in my opinion. My state of mind was not in a better shape either.

Last weekend I took the box out and had a look at it. The box was still in the same bad shape, but my state of mind had improved considerably. I took out some tools and started fiddling with the box opening up the latch compartment and taking out all the Namibian rocks that was still forced in between anything that had a gap. Eventually I managed to fix the latch mechanism and to me there was a glimmer op hope. The problem however was the cracks. I would never feel comfortable riding with a packed topbox with cracks like that around the latch. It would just be a matter of time before the latch will brake off, so I took it to a plastic welding shop hoping that they could save it.

On my way back from the shop the welding came loose and the box was exactly where it was a day ago before I took it in. I took it back and they tried again to fix it, this time putting in some reinforcements. At the moment it really looks as if it had been repaired with chewing gum, but for R250 I will accept it like it is and hope for the best. The gentleman even wanted to paint the box, but I was not going to wipe out the history of that box just yet. 


I have no idea whether the repairs will last. The box takes a lot of stress at that point. Add weight and a few bumps and you'll probably see the box flying off again pretty soon. For the time being I will just load it with light objects with little value until I am convinced that the welding will hold. As for the scratches on the box, they must stay. A dark reminder what can happen when you are riding a bike, but also a good conversation starter.

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