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.

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Setting to work.

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

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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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