Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One Love!

The universe is conspiring to help me! Check this out.

So I´ve been running around Panama all day, everyday, looking for the perfect bike solution.

I´ve been to 6 different bike shops. Finally, after about a week of shopping I found, at least I thought I found, the ideal situation. At Rali bike shop in downtown Panama City I found a brand new mountain bike that was near ideal for the trip. On top of that they had all the add ons, tools, safety kits, helmet, shorts, almost everything. I told them to hold the bike for me for a few days because I had to sort out a few odds and ends before I bought the bike.

The only problem with the bike at Rali bike shop was that it didn´t have front or rear racks to hold my gear. On top of that I also had to get the pannier bags to hold my equipment. I found a bike rack shop in Southern California and a pannier shop somewhere in Canada. Both companies were going to mail me the equipment. At that point I had to assemble everything and attach it to the new mountain bike from Rali. Get it?

So I was about 14 hours from pulling the trigger and getting the bike plus ordering the remaining parts from the US and Canada. It was going to be a total pain in the ass but whatever...sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Then Jeff walks in.

Jeff is a cool cat. He´s in his twenties, has red dreads down to his butt, is a veteran when it comes to travelling and is truly a biker´s biker.

I´m minding my own business, cooking a bit of dinner, and this guy walks into the hostel. He biked to Panama City from Nicaragua. We get to talking and the next thing I know were sharing dinner and talking about the in´s and out´s of biking through Central America. He´s a super cool guy and wasn´t shy about sharing any stories from the road.

The next night we start talking again and sharing some stories. I tell him about the bike I'm about to buy and he tells me how he´s going to Colombia to do some volunteer work and a bit of travelling.

I say...¨well, sounds like you don´t need your bike.¨He say´s, ¨ya, I need a backpack.¨

Next thing I know I´m getting a crash course on how to change a tire and he´s walking out the door of the hostel to Colombia with my backpack on! Crazy encounter!

The bike is perfect!

It´s a Raleigh touring bike made specifically for these types of trips. It´s got some miles on it but that's perfectly ok. And to boot it has all the racks and bags. We made a good deal (I´ll spare you the details). I swear sometimes the world does conspire to help you out.

Jeff´s final words were....¨It´s a great bike. It has a ton of positive energy. It will get you where you need to go. (He pointed to the sticker on the bike. Its a Reggae sticker with a lion holding the Jamaica flag.) And, ya, One Love... just remember One love.¨ With that...he was gone!


1 comment:

coyote said...

hey buddy!
sorry it took me so long to check your site, it looks awesome, and i appreciate the kind words. Zach and I arrived in Bogota today after a wicked 10 day trip down the pacific. Ill fill you in later. Good luck man.