The 2nd day in Beijing saw a few of us working on our bikes, changing chains and cleaning parts. I had been having issues with my seat collar causing the seat to slip during the day, so I decided to tighten the bolt as much as possible. SNAP! The bolt (steel) literally broke in half.
No problem I thought. Just go down to the local bike store and buy another right? Not as easy as it sounds. After checking 4 stores, I thought I had finally bought right size only to find out back at the hostel it didn’t fit.
A short IM with Jakub Postrzygacz (my bike contact in New Zealand) and a solution was given. “Just find someone to drill out the screw that is stuck in the collar and chuck an M6 bolt through it” wrote Jakub. Sounds simple enough except this is China and last time I checked my Chinese was a little rusty. That’s where Tan Xin took over.
Tan Xin, an Engineering student in Beijing had been tasked with showing me around Beijing and helping me with anything that I needed while here in Beijing by his friend Chun, who is my parents border back in New Zealand.
Little did he know he would have to find a way to fix a bike part for me by finding someone to drill a hole through a broken screw. But he left enthusiastically with parts in hand on Thursday night saying he would try his best. Less than 12 hours later he contacted me with the news I that he had fixed the part. Not bad.
Without the help of Tan Xin I would have spent the rest of my time in Beijing stressed trying to do this myself. Instead I spent Friday and Saturday with Tan Xin wandering the streets of Beijing and checking out the 798 Street art scene. (a must see in Beijing)
To thank him Tom and I took him out to a Korean restaurant to give him a taste of what we eat back home.