In the hands of an old pro: rack repair, Chetumal

Some time ago, my Tubus Cargo rack developed a hairline crack after a particularly rough dirt road descent in the Sierra Madre, North Mexico. The beauty of chromo is that it’s easily repaired, which I did in a local welders on the outskirts of a village we rode through. Unfortunately the guys who did the job were real cowboys. Racks like this use a thin tubing rather than basic steel rod, and they managed to blow a massive hole in it, which they then bodgily filled.

Anyway, the weld didn’t hold more than a few months. This time I had more luck, chancing apon a real pro on the border town of Chetumal. I found him taking things easy in his welder’s nest – a shaded courtyard packed with dismembered parts of old cars, wires dangling like jungle vines, and gas bottles stacked up in a Jenga heap. The moment he checked the rack over and tutted dismissively at the work that had been done, I knew I was in safe hands.

Indeed, the welding he did was top notch, beautifully finished and perhaps even better than new.


Setting to work.


Getting right in there. We chatted while he welded, and I told him about the trip.


And the man himself. I’m ashamed to say I don’t even know his name. Especially as when it came to pay, he wouldn’t even accept any pesos, satisfied simply in wishing me well on my travels. I noticed his neighbour sold tall glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice, so I settled the matter with some liquid refreshment instead. This was my last morning before crossing into Belize, and I couldn’t have hoped for a warmer final memory of my time in Mexico.

Incidentally, when I contacted Tubus, they were quick to respond and offer a replacement, which at some point I’ll get round to organising.

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