Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wheels Beneath My Feet!

I am a walking maniac.  I love to walk and since I've come to Cuenca I walk about 6 miles a day on average.  I take the long way to downtown along the Tomebamba.  It keeps me fit and my encounters are wonderful.  Here's the problem.  I'm wearing out my shoes fast. I also love bicycling and find that it gets me to places much faster and with less effort than via Sketchers.  If I want to get the same exercise as I did walking, I will simply go farther and faster on my bike!  My shoes will thank me!  Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.  Rachel plans to bring her bike from the states so we will both be very mobile.  A couple weeks ago  I made friends with Juan Vintimilla, owner of PaBikes, a great little bike shop right down the street on Ordonez Lazo.  Today I walked in, talked with Juan, and test drove a Mongoose mountain bike.  It is awesome.  I had a cross over bike before, but this one is the real deal.  It's the two wheel version of a Land Rover with plenty of horsepower (me).   It has disk brakes that could stop a Mack truck and shifters that are as tight and sure as Rachel's Miata.  The front forks are made to take some pretty severe bumps and are adjustable for riding street or in the sierras.  This Mongoose will outlast me and I'm planning on at least another 30-40 years.

I had the double pleasure while visiting with Juan to meet an associate of his, Mauricio Carrion.  Mauricio has been living in New York City and promoting cycling there but has come back to his roots in Ecuador.  He is going to be organizing bike rides around Ecuador.  How cool is that!  Mauricio is an ergonomic specialist so he works with Juan and Juan's customers to make sure they are fitted with the right type and size bike and to make accomodations for people with special needs.  For example, I have a bad lower back, so he is recommending a more upright posture and hence a longer post on the handlebars.  I don't think I got quite this much attention on the last bike I bought in the states.

Well here's the really good news.  I told Juan and Mauricio (above)  that there aren't any secure bike racks in the underground garage at our condo,  Palermo.  I told them that if they would help me lobby the manager to have one installed, it might help them sell more bikes to those of us at Palermo.  It just so happens that Mauricio's cousin is the building's owner's manager!  Tomorrow Mauricio and Juan will come down here and we will get this arranged.  I am very excited, because that was my biggest concern for having the bikes in the Palermo underground garage which to me is where they should be stored.  I believe this is what you call customer service.  If you're in Cuenca and need a bicycle, see my friend Juan.

No comments: