This last week, I´ve been holed up in San Andres de Iztapa, cobbling together old bikes donated from the US for the bike NGO Maya Pedal. I´ll be here for a couple more weeks at least, sanding down old frames and getting my hands greasy, sharpening my mechanicing skills with press fit bottom brackets, cup and cone headsets and old school U brakes…
Here´s a few pics. Expanded story and blog post to follow soon….
The workshop floor. The chart on the right explains all relevant bike terms needed in Spanish. Working here is a good way to improve specialist vocab...
Maya Pedal is run by Carlos, and staffed by volunteers from around the world.
Spot the family resemblence? This is Carlos Jr, or Carlito, second in command. There´s not much this little dude can´t figure out when it comes to bikes.
Starting the day with a mango, papaya and banana smoothie. Pedal power, of course. This is one in a collection of pedal powered machines that are produced here - for everything from washing your clothes to grounding coffee.
Getting down to work. Truing the wheel of an old Schwinn.
Work in progress. This is not a Park Tool fitted workshop...
The pile. Plenty of bikes to choose from.
And parts too.
And one of the finished products, ready for sale. An old Panasonic clunker. I took it out for a spin on the dirt roads that wend their way high up into the moutains behind town.
At Maya Pedal, just about everything is made out of bike bits. Towel rails, beds, tables, work stands...
Even the dreamcatcher. Sweet bike dreams guaranteed.
I happened to be in Antigua when they gave a talk at a cafe and demoed some of the machines. So cool! It is great you can spend some time there. Will you get to go see some of the communities where the machines get used?
Hey Matt, definitely hoping so. Be great to see one of the bicimaquinas in action.
Might get the chance to learn to weld a little too, which would be cool.
Cass – inspiring as always.
Let’s talk re The Ride – I can’t think of a better contributor!
Keep on truckin’ and thanks again for the fascinating words and images.
I’d die for a pedal powered blender…does it work well and how does it transfer the power to the blender? What a shop!
there’s a homemade dynamo-style device (made from recycled car tyre) running along the tyre wall, to drive the blade of the licuadora. works a treat! will take a pic and add in it for the next post.
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Inspirational work my friend that deserves a big audience
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