Bike Shops: What’s Not At The Bicicletería

I’ve visited some great bike shops in Latin America. In Buenos Aires, in Santiago, in Bogotá. Once, I had an entire drivetrain replaced at a huge bike shop in Panama City. At these kinds of bike shops (that is, big shops in big cities in countries with a culture of cycling) you can often find […]

For Whom, The Road Tolls?

Do Cyclists Have To Pay Peajes? Many roads in Latin America are paid for with peajes (tolls). No matter which route you ride, eventually you’ll encounter one. Most toll-controlled roads are run by the state. Some are privately owned. Some are unofficial or even illegal (but I’ll get to these later). At official peajes, the […]

Blades Of Glory: Machetes Demystified

My Latin American tours usually start in this order: (1) Ride out of the airport. (2) Find food and water. (3) Buy a machete. (4) Find somewhere to spend the night. If they sold machetes at airports, it would probably be number one. In fact, if it didn’t raise so many eyebrows at airports, I’d […]

Sometimes, You Gotta Push!

While riding my 10-speed up a hill one day when I was eleven, I made a vow: Once I started a hill, I had to finish it. The rule was, no matter how steep or long the hill, my feet weren’t allowed to touch the ground; I couldn’t stop pedalling. I never told anyone about […]

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