Brooks saddles are supposed to give a lifetime of satisfaction. When mine broke I was disappointed. Now, after a second spoke broke on my OE rear wheel (Novara Long Haul Touring) I am more than disappointed. Paul of Bikes and More said it was very likely a second one would break soon after. He gave it about 300 miles, saying that distortion of the rim added unwanted tension. If the breakage was the result of a bad spoke the repaired wheel might not fail. It took 800 miles for another spoke to break.
The people at my FNBS are aware of the impending trip. (How can they not know? It's about all I can talk about sometimes) They also know the Safari is my primary transportation. Keith (what's a Canadian doing managing sales in a bike shop in Florida, eh?) suggested a double wall rim from Salsa would be a good replacement. The total cost using my Deore hub and discounting because of membership in the local bicycle society brought the total cost to less than $110. I might have to eat only every other day on my trip, but better that than breaking down! Brian, (one of three full-time mechanics) agreed to replace the broken spoke, despite a heavy workload, so I could pick the bike up at the end of my work day. How can you ask for more than that? Well, one more surprise was waiting. When I picked the bike up later, Lisa said there was no charge. Treatment like that is why Bikes and More is just one more reason why it is the shop of choice in G'ville.
As the title suggests, timing is critical in planning and execution. Being as well prepared as possible is the best way to handle bad timing and misfortune. What can fail? Obviously, saddles. Even the best. Wheels. Brakes. (being replaced before the trip with the variety allowing easy pad change) Chain. Tires? Probably not since even 2600 miles on them the Marathons show little rear wear. Pedal? Uh huh, with similar, but upgraded model. One unknown element is the route; campgrounds, water, food . . . The other unknown, as I have addressed previously, is my physical ability. Won't know about the route or my ability until I try it. Ad it is almost time.