A passing cycler had informed us of the road ahead. "The easiest pass of the Pamir region, 50 kilometers of mild upwards slope to 4250 meters and then slowly back down to Murgab which lies at an elevation of 3600 m. Even though Stef was struggling with some stomach issues we couldn't help but joke about how easy the Pamir had been so far. "All those bloggers are just a bunch of pussies whining about altitude and lack of food and civilization, this isn't even a challenge. And they call us crazy for doing this shoeless, without maps or gps, stupid world!" Our mockery was heard, and an icy wind started blowing fiercely in Yuri's and Anton's faces. But no, that would still be too easy, so Anton's spokes decided it was breaking time. One, no problem, just take it like a man and keep going, we'll fix it when we get to Murghab. (80 kilometers further, where Stef had all the proper tools to fix it.
Again, the mockery was not taken lightly and another spoke decided to call it quits. Not just any spoke, but the one right next to it on the same side, causing the tire to stand umbrella. Now we had kind of a problem. After some contemplating we thought "what would Stef do" , and managed to loosen spokes on one side and tighten them on the other, getting rid of the scraping but not fixing the wobble completely.
Just to spite us a third gave out, same side, right next to it. We stopped every ten kilometers in frustration to pull the tire straight again, just to get back on our bikes and curse the headwinds. Slowly but surely we made progress and after an old wise yak congratulated us on our persistence, Murgab appeared on the horizon. Stef met us on the final stretch, greeted the bags under our eyes and provided some fresh fruit. Usually this is where a scarce food joke would be in order, but we were too tired and defeated to even make a comment. Still... The Pamir isn't that bad. *looks around nervously in anticipation*