Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Unrest in Bogota

For the last week we have had protest against the Government here in Colombia. Bogota where I live has had the most problems. The problem is the criminal element mixing in with the legitimate protesters and taking advantage of the situation. There was some looting carried out by Venezuelan refugees that had nothing to do with the protest.

Students blocking one lane of the Highway on the left.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Bicycle as your prime mode of transportation

After making the move to Bogota Colombia I am living every cyclist dream of having my bicycle as my main mode of transportation. Bogota is a large city with equal amounts of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and buses sharing the road. The city has well-planned bike routes throughout the city making every part of the city accessible by bike. You also have the choice of riding in traffic if you so choose.
When first observing the traffic it appears to be total chaos, cars, bikes, and motorcycles weaving in and out of lanes. The traffic is always heavy so it keeps the speeds low. Rarely can you get over 30 mph so the bicycles can keep up with the cars. The bicycles and motorcycles have the advantage of being able to weave in and out of traffic, so often times it's quicker to go by bike or motorcycle than by car.
The bicycle has the advantage of being able to change direction that the motorcycles and cars can not do.

The traffic is so intense that you cannot take your eyes off the road for one second. Nobody is texting everyone is focused on the road because you have motorcycles passing on your left and on your right, bicycles weaving in and out that everyone is driving defensively trying not to hit anyone and for this and the low speeds you just don't see many accidents.

ft-trafico-bogota.jpg (710×350)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

My New Ride

Well, as promised the new bike. My first new bike in fifteen years I tend to hold on to things or buy used. The frame is steel in a flat black aero look, deep well rims, and bull horns. Nothing special just a good transportation bike. Cost in U.S approximately $175. For now, it has a freewheel, The riding here is incredible you can basically get around anywhere in the city on bike. Closed bicycle routes access most of the city and riding in traffic in most areas isn't bad. Tomorrow Sunday they close the highway down for bicycles only. I'm going to try it out and ride across town to a big flea market to check it out.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Here in Bogota

Well, I made the move permanently to Bogota Colombia. I shipped my bike ahead by cargo. It got there safely but was stolen from the house before I arrived. I was pissed about that especially after spending $130 dollars in shipping. Since I wasn't there I'm not sure how it went down, but apparently, a door was left unlocked.
Once I arrived I had to go looking for another bike. There are plenty of bike shops and a good selection of single speeds. I found a really good deal for $175 bucks which would have cost me at least $350 stateside. I will take a picture and post it shortly.
This is a cycling paradise! Closed bicycle routes throughout the city. Whether you want Road Riding, Mountain Riding, Fixie Riding or just plain commuting it's all here. That's maybe why three major tour races were won by Colombians recently including the Tour de France!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bogota here I Come

Well, it's official I'm moving to Bogota. My tickets bought and my bike shipped out today. It cost me $130 to ship it down there. I could have bought something there, but I've grown attached to the bike over the years. Just did not feel right leaving it behind. So hopefully it will be there when I get there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


What would you think of a city that closes off a major part of their highway every weekend for 75 miles just for the cyclist to enjoy? Incredible Bogota Colombia does this. It opens the road for the general public to ride and enjoy without the dangers of riding in traffic. The more I find out about this city the more I like it.

Then I found out they have two velodromes is this cycling heaven or what?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sweet Trick Riding

Some nice trick riding. Love the old GT frame

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Fixed Gear Connection

I've owned many bikes. Owned a bike store and done a lot of riding. I grew up riding in Panama. My first Road Bike was a Ferrari red Benotto. I bought that bike with my own money and rode it everywhere.Then I got a silver Motobecane from my shop that I commuted on. Later on a Ridley that was great.
All these bikes were special and I still have fond memories of them, but my all time favorite bike was my track bike. Simple
one fixed gear, a steel frame and a front brake. It doesn't get any simpler!
What's special? That stupid little fixed gear that makes you constantly pedal there is no coasting.

There is a connection I just can't explain that you feel more part of the bike than you do on a multi geared bike. You and the bike become one. When you move the bike moves, your legs are the direct drive to the wheel and to the road. Riding fixed is a completely different experience not for everyone, but for those who get hooked there is nothing like it! 

White, Black, & Yellow Single Speed Bicyclewww.zazzle.com

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Is this the shit or what? A bamboo fixie! Got to be my next bike!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

It Dosen't Get Better Than This!

Track stands at their best

Thursday, April 18, 2019


I was listening to an interview with Lance Armstrong the other day. I was completely against what he did, but in that time period everyone was doping unfortunately. It pissed me off to the degree they went after him. We now have 7 years in the records with no winner of the Tour and the scandal took a huge chunk of the fan base away. People were disgusted with the whole thing.

They should have kept it out of the media. Going back after the fact just destroyed cycling. After that debacle I haven't watched a major race.

The Doping was so prevalent that I knew of riders on the local level who were doping. There are always going to be cheaters that's life.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Moving to Colombia

My long term plan is to move to Colombia. Fell in love with the country. I like the idea of not needing a car. My expenses will be low and I can get anywhere on bike pretty much. Even toying with the idea of opening a fixie bike shop, but we'll see.

Either way I should be able to get a lot of riding in. With all the bicycle commuters there I thought a shop that concentrated on commuters and single speeds might be unique. I just don't want to be a slave to a shop again.

The beauty of Bogota is it's pretty flat, but surrounded by mountains. Santiago Chile was cool for riding as well. Just seems the traffic in South America is more used to bicycles, so they are more lenient and aware of you.

Colombia at least Bogota had a lot more bicycles in traffic. In fact I have never seen so many bicycles in my life. The only places that might compare would be Holland or Denmark.

My trip to Chile was on a Road Bike and I was just doing long distance and mountain climbs. I did the mountain in downtown Santiago where they have the Christ statue. I rode from Santiago to Vina del mar which was like 75 miles, I did another mountain Farallones and the toughest ride Portillo which is a ski resort. This was actually part of the Andes and separates Chile and Argentina.
Portillo Chile
Image result for portillo chile      This was the road up the mountain 32 curves.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

To Brake or not to brake

To use brakes or not use brakes is the big fixed gear debate. Originally fixed gear bikes were designed to be raced on a track where everyone is going the same direction at high speed. Brakes were not needed since there was no call for any quick braking. In fact any braking would be dangerous to the other riders who would not  time to to react to any quick braking.

The riders are tire to tire at full speed not enough time to react to quick braking, so track bikes were designed with no brakes.

Now when track bikes were ridden on the street a lot of purist did not believe in adding brakes. They chose to go around obstacles or skid stop. A skid stop is performed by locking up your rear wheel and skidding. Not a very efficient way to stop quickly and it wears the shit out of your tires.

I prefer a brake. One brake on the front wheel is all you need.  You can still apply pressure by pushing back on the pedals which will slow you down, but if you need to stop quickly a brake is the way to go.

Skid stopping puts a lot of pressure on you knees. I've got bad knees so I stay away from the skid stop.

The more you ride fixed the less you need to use the brakes. You just develop a keener sense for the road and since you are constantly pedaling you become one with the bike. Riding Fixed definitely makes you feel more in control..

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Learning to Repair your Bike

The mechanics of a fixed gear are so simple there is no excuse not to work on your own bike. You should definitely know how to fix a flat. If you're on a ride and far from home and have a flat you better know how to fix it or you will have a long walk back.

All you need is a couple tire irons and a spare tube. A wrench to remove your wheels and a set of allen keys to tighten handlebars or seat post. A broken chain is rare and to fix it you would need a chain link tool which are small and easy to carry. All these tools and a tube can be carried under your seat in a small bag.

I always have an emergency bag under my seat since flats can be quite common. I have one of those all in one tool sets that has a full set of allen keys, a screw driver, a chain tool and a couple tire irons. this simple setup will cover most any mechanical problem I'm likely to have on the road.

Almost forgot you need a pump. either a simple hand pump or you can get one of those Co2 cartridge fillers which are easier to carry and work great..

If you don't know how to do a certain type of repair just search it on youtube and you will find plenty of videos showing you anything you want to know.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Riding Track

If you ever get the chance to ride on a velodrome take it. It is a super cool experience that will give you that much more appreciation for the fixed gear bicycle. Ft. Lauderdale had a track that I was able to enjoy. The steeped banks are intimidating at first but as you pick up speed it's a big thrill. You are horizontal to the ground and your speed is what keeps you up. Drafting fellow cyclist is easier because no one has brakes to dramatically change speeds.

Look up Velodromes and see if there is anything in your area. The coolest Velodrome I've seen was in Santiago Chile when I was visiting on a cycling trip. They had a motorcycle on the track pacing the riders.

Never seen track racing just look it up on youtube- keirin racing,  or bicycle track racing.


Monday, April 8, 2019

My second and still current bike. An old British track frame. I've since changed the wheels.

An old picture of my first fixie a KHS back when I was a sales rep.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

You just can't beat a Fixie!

The beauty of the fixed gear is it's simplicity and it's price. There is very little to go wrong or adjust and you can get a decent bike starting at $300. I've had my fancy road bikes but there is always a special connection with my fixie.

I don't know if it's the simplicity or the feeling of the connection you have with the bike. The complete control of being able to balance in place or the feel of the direct drive.

The customization of each fixie street bike tends to show the riders uniqueness. Very rare a fixie rider keeps his bike stock. From adding or removing brakes, changing wheels, seats or handle bars or decals I guarantee 90% of those bikes had some kind of customization before they hit the streets. It's the Fixie Way!

My personal bike was an old British track frame. I powder coated it black. I added a Mavic front brake and Velo wheels. I cut my road bars to a bull horn, put on a Selle Italian seat and old school Campy pedals with toe clips. I've had top notch road bikes worth a lot more money, but I never held the attachment to them as I have with this old track bike.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New Look

After 10 years I've decided to give the blog a new look. The black background looked cool and all, but it was really trying on the eyes. Weĺl give this a go and see how it does.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bogota Colombia Fixed Gear Paradise

Although completely surrounded by mountains the city of  Bogota is mostly flat. Bike routes are distributed throughout the city. A high percentage of the public commute on motorbikes, scooters, and bicycles since there are restrictions on vehicles you are only allowed a certain number of days per week to drive your car to help control the pollution. Driving in traffic seems to be uncontrolled chaos but everyone seems to flow together. Because of the amount of traffic high speeds are kept to a minimum.
I saw quite a few single speeds and some fixed gears. Pretty incredible to see almost as many motorcycles and cyclist as cars on the road.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I opened a new business about eight years ago and also started writing books and pretty much abandoned blogging. It's a leather and shoe repair which has done great and I've written five books. I finally got things under control, so I'm back blogging