Wednesday, December 15, 2010

iLisu – the smartest bicycle

Me and iLisu.
Lisu is a beautiful bicycle (if you do not remember why Lisu has this name, go here). Some of its part are not the best quality, but I came to the conclusion that it has to have certain intelligence, it is just a really smart bicycle.
I did not know how long I would have been bicycling, so I decided not to buy any tools to repair Lisu. I just got the spare inner tube. Now I know that Lisu deserve to get his name upgraded to iLisu and here are the reasons:

Point One – First Tire
The first day of our biking Lisu got the flat tire. And it was a perfect place to change the inner tube of Lisu. That day I also noticed that the back tire had some holes and it should have been replaced. I believe that thanks to the new tire I did not got flat tire for next 500 km!!!! So this was a smart decision to change tire in Siem Reap. Thanks Lisu.

Welding pedal in Cambodia.
Point Two – First Pedal
The only technical problem in Cambodia was the broken pedal. I was biking through jungle and only 2 km before the small military village the plastic part of the pedal detached from the metal rod. Initially I thought that there would not be a problem to replace the broken pedal with the new one since there were 6 repair points in this town. But I realized that it is ultimate motorbiking country and not bicycling country. In every of this place they had every spare parts for different motorbikes, but unfortunately motorbikes do not have pedals, so they did not have one to replace. Luckily one of the repair place managed to repair my pedal by welding and stitching. And it was sufficient for the next 200 km of biking!!! Smart decision Lisu to have the pedal broken in this place.

Ultimate jungle experience.
Point Three – Punched tire
In Laos it happened a bit often to get a punched tire but almost in all placed it happened in the place that I could easily repair it using someone’s tools.

Point Four – Leaking ventil
During the ultimate jungle day experience my air valve started to leak but in the last moment I managed to get out from the jungle before the night.

Point five – air pump
My first air pump I also after first 600km. This pump exploded after the second use. Because I did not have air pump and I could not pump my inner tube I was forced to hitchhike and I got on the track with the very nice police guys. In this way I avoided some montains.

Hitchhiking to Bolaven Plateau.
Point six – hitchhiking
Hitchhiking was never so easy and efficient. In South of Laos when I needed to get a ride for some kilometers almost every single truck stopped.

Point seven - sleeping
I always manage to get shelter for the night with Lisu. Great guide.

iLisu on the dirt road.
Point eight - experiencing the country
I think I would never manage to experience Laos in such a way without Lisu

For sure my bicycle deserve an upgrade its name to iLisu.
During my last day in Luang Probang I found new home for iLisu. I donated it to the local organization @ My Library, which helps to educate and develop interests in young Lao people. I am sure iLisu will be happy there.

iLisu after the boat cruise.
iLisu CV:
Black bicycle with three gears, two breaks.... and a bit too small.
cost: 38$,
We traveled together for 1900km.

We biked together for 1400km.
Main special feature: Broke down only in places where it can be repaired.

Maximal day distance 135km  (12h biking, From Thousand Islands to Paksong on a very good road)

2 new back tires – one tire got ruined after 500 km
3 new pedals (+1 pedal welded) (it is surprisingly difficult to find new pedal....)
8 inner tubes
2 new small rubbers for air vent
2 new baskets
Some oil on the way
2 new pumps (one exploded during pumping)
3 rucksack holding rubbers
Run on 5 liters a day of drinking water

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