Since the rim was fixed in town, I've addressed other aspects of the motorcycle and prepared my kit for imminent action! A huge thank you to Just, the owner of Bab Sahara where I am staying, as he's allowed me to use his workshop and tools. Shelter from the 35+ C afternoon heat has really helped.

Workshop at Bab Sahara, Atar, Mauritania.

My handlebars are bent, which means my left hand is about 1 cm forward of my right. Concern for snapping the bars has deterred me from bending back into position. I just hope my left arm grows ;) Replacement bars will be sought, but this depends on where I can source them en route.

The forks are now aligned. First time I've done that on a motorcycle, so hope it's right.

The front plastic above the headlight now has two holes with zip ties pinning the plastic back. Looks rough around the edges, because it literally is (!), but there's something elegant too. Not wishing to blow my own trumpet!

Zip ties holding white plastic in place. Zip ties holding white plastic in place. Zip ties holding white plastic in place.

The GPS cradle had become sticky, so I dismantled to clean the mechanism. This means my GPS is once again easily detachable, which I do when going into shops.

The fixture plate for my top box is beyond repair, so I've drilled holes in the box and bolted directly onto my rack, thus not needing the fixture. Definitely an inelegant solution! The box has some serious gauges on it too.

Drilling hole in top box to fix directly to rear rack (because fixing plate was broken).

The motorcycle is in much better shape, so I took it for a test spin. I was slightly nervous and jittery pulling away, but that went within seconds. It felt tremendous to ride again. The feeling of freedom was immense after being cooped up at the auberge.

I noticed my posture and grip on the handle bars instantly. Then I noticed the very strong wobble on the handlebars. Looking down at the rotating front wheel, the buckle was very clear. A friend in the workshop helped me mount the bike. Slightly dubious stability and safety, so I worked quickly adjusting spoke nipples to true the wheel.

Motorcycle jacked up with some slightly dubious support. Motorcycle jacked up with some slightly dubious support.

Other tasks have included:

  • laced a new spine on owner's service manual (A4 book),
  • sowed together 2 cm x 2 cm tear in right thigh of riding trousers,
  • washed riding gear,
  • washed clothes,
  • washed bottles and water bladder rucksack,
  • charged electronic devices, and
  • backed up data.

Having prepared lots in recent days, I treated myself to a meal in town. Minced camel with omelette, chips, salad, lots of white bread, and washed down with a can of coke. I relished the treat, because I hadn't prepared it myself! Whilst walking into town, I passed a game of football.

Football game between locals in Atar, Mauritania.

In Atar, I found women selling deep fried balls of dough. They have a light fragrance to their taste. One type was spongy and small, and another type was crumbly and a bit like rock cake in the UK.

Deep fried dough balls in Atar, Mauritania. Deep fried dough balls in Atar, Mauritania.

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