Although Maya Pedal is run by the inimitable Carlos, it is also made up of a crew of continually changing volunteers, all of whom dwell in shared rooms above the workshop. Volunteers come and go over the year, staying from as little as a week to several months. Some are engineers, some bike enthusiasts, some simply like the idea of the project and want to get involved; all in all, it makes for a great community of like-minded souls.
Here’s just a few of the guys I’ve been working and hanging out with over my time here…
Ilja, and the bicilicuadadora he built with Nina. Ilja works at a film archive in Bern, and gave the chaos of Maya Pedal an injection of Swiss efficiency.
Yorkshire Jules and the Schwinn she renovated. Back home, Jules is a both an engineering boffin studying at Cambridge and a great singer.
Canadian Emily and her spiffy pink kid’s bike… Emily studies ‘Canadian’ studies. Not quite sure what that is, but it seems to involve reading lots of books. She makes a mean set of shelves too.
Here's Max, her boyfriend, an engineering student from Germany, with the picadora he’s building – for composting organic waste. Max overflows with energy and throws themselves into one project after project (even juggling several at the same time) with unparalleled zeal.
Nina, a social worker, and her vintage Rollfast. Without Nina, we would have been malnourished and hungry, and the house would have descended into a pit of grime and mess (the latter I can handle, the former less so).
Chacan from Spain. A regular at Mayapedal, he’s been cruising round Mexico and Guatemala for a few years, earning his keep by teaching diving in the Carribean.
Me, looking like I might know what I'm doing, as I chop up a classic Panasonic frame (broke my heart) for a longtail project.
Nina, Elja, Geno and Tom. Geno is an artisan from Guatemala City, and Tom, who once hailed from Scotland, has been travelling and working in Central America and Carribean for the last 4 years. Seen here chilling out at lunchtime in the sun, a rare thing in these rainy season days.
Hey Cass, thanks for putting faces to the “them” that you spoke of 🙂
Great blog and photos as usual Cass. I am wondering, what camera equipment are you using now? I imagine that with the new micro 4/3 cameras coming out, for the mid range focal lengths of 20-70 mm they should perform well and reduce weight considerably. I still like wildlife photography so I may end up bringing my D300 and 300 f4 wildlife lens on my next trip, I guess we’re all allowed at least one luxury if we can carry it.
mark – I’m going to do a little post about this soon, as it’s come up a few times. i moved over to a micro 4/3rds system some time back, and while I miss the low light quality and the speed of the my nikon, the Lumix GF1 I have is way lighter and more practical. I’ve yet to see anything in print, but I’m pretty pleased with the quality so far.
Yes that’s what I’m thinking. The issue with my wildlife photography is that I need to keep the shutter speeds up above 1/1000 and to go along with this I often need ISO’s above 1000 so I still need DX. But for the more conventional focal lengths I think I may switch to micro 4/3.
I am impressed with your pictures as always. I think it’s the composition and colour that make a photo, not pixel peeping. I always have to remind myself of that, except when cropping a distant animal with the wildlife lens, when pixel peeping does become important.