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New Wheels

When I was younger and living in the remotest part of North Carolina, getting a bike was the equivalent of having a car – I didn’t have to ride the “cheese wagon,” the bus to school where I was the only immigrant Latina. With a bike I could just hop on its K-Mart squeaky clean wheels, and 25 sweaty minutes later I wheeled up to school with one pant leg rolled up, muddy shoes and lopsided backpack. Small price to pay for having your own wheels and no waiting for a ride or being pushed to the back of the bus. I had the same feeling today when I bought my bike- a feeling of elation and freedom. No longer will I stare longingly at the construction workers’ bikes propped up between the new tin roofs and cinder blocks at El Calvario. No longer would the caravans of other bikes and mopeds heading into Antigua remind me to my pedestrian plight. Today, I got a new bike. It’s a no-name brand but it came with an incredible pedal-powered headlight! Here’s my baby getting the full treatment by two store employees and Brad:

4 thoughts on “New Wheels

  1. Amit Shoham says:

    The tiny generator that powers the headlight is actually very old technology — I had one on my bike in Haifa when I was a kid! I haven’t seen one in years… We used to call that generator a “dynamo.” It would add a lot of drag to the bike when it was “on” (i.e. positioned against the wheel so that the wheel turning would power the generator). I wonder if they’re making these things more efficient now? At least you never need batteries… pretty cool and environmentally friendly!

  2. Mark says:

    So where did you all end up?

  3. Kara Andrade says:

    Down at the Alameda you can get everything, including a bike with a dynamo, that apparently doesn’t work so well in Antigua becuase of the cobblestone roads. I have ants all up and down my arms.

  4. ah yes… those cobblestones… hahaha

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