About a week after we arrived in Ecuador in December of 2011 Mary and I bought bicycles. We planned to simplify our lives and decided that, with the low cost of public transportation, we would not need to get a car or other motorized vehicle. We got some fairly inexpensive bicycles for about one hundred dollars each at a mall store and they served us well.
But, living so close to the ocean has some disadvantages and probably the biggest is the corrosive effect of the salt laden ocean breezes. Also the rough dirt and/or pot-hole ridden roadways around our home made for some hard times for our bicycles. Since I usually was the one called on to take the longer rides and more often used my bike for errands, etc. my bicycle showed the wear more so than Mary’s.
I replaced tires, regularly oiled the chain, took the wheel bearings apart, cleaned out sand, oiled, cleaned, oiled, cleaned, oiled, and generally did all I could to maintain the bicycles for a year and a half before my bicycle started to die. The cincher came when rusted spokes started snapping and the rear wheel got so out of round that it rubbed on the frame.
The time had come to buy a new bicycle and for several months I was like a school boy anticipating Christmas as I did internet searches, looked at bicycle stores in Portoviejo and Manta, and tried to figure what would be the best value in the long run. There are several large bike stores in both of the larger cities nearby and I believe I looked at bikes in all of them before we settled on this:
This is a picture of my new Primaxi Sandstorm 29 inch mountain bike. Mary took this picture on the afternoon we got the bike home from Manta as we were preparing to head downtown for dinner last Thursday.
This bike has an alloy frame, aluminum wheels and coated spokes. The frame, chain, and all Shimano components are rust proof (or at least rust-resistant). It has front and rear disc brakes and an adjustable shock absorber system that easily locks out for use on paved roads.
I got an aluminum water bottle holder and portable pump to go with the under the seat tool kit bag for use on roadway repairs. I also got a nice fanny bag type day pack with two additional water bottles and room to carry food and additional items for longer rides.
Mary also suggested that I should buy (and use) a helmet, so I am now set to ride, ride, ride! The helmet is made by Bell and even has flashing red lights in the rear for use at night.
I hope to work up to riding this bike to Bahia, Crucita, and other towns on day-long rides.
Here are some more pictures I took of both sides of the bike today when I rode over to San Jacinto.
I can ride eight to ten miles fairly easily now, but the ride to Bahia will take a bit of conditioning as there is a rather high hill between here and there. I plan to ride up the hill until I get too tired, and come on back and then try it again another day until I build up endurance for the ride all the way to Bahia.
I look forward to getting in better shape and seeing the sights close up as I ride my new bike around our home here where…
Life is good in Ecuador.