Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mi Bicicleta es roja - Enter The Rali Eclipse

I had quite an experience just finding the Bicicleta Tienda in David last week. I was told the bicycle store was located near the bus terminal, so I drove my car into David, parked in my favorite parking lot by Hotel Gran National & walked to terminal location (according to the Panama Moon book). The bicycle store was not obvious, so I asked a friendly-looking man, "Donde esta bicicleta tienda?" Rather than just point me in the right direction, Armando decided to walk me to the store. After several blocks, we were in an appliance store that carried a couple of cheap bicycles. I said "No, solomente bicicleta tienda." He walked me a few more blocks in a different direction and we found "TOMY" - a true bicycle store. Armando waited around while I looked at bicycles, acting like he wanted a tip for his trouble. I have him $5 (probably too much) & promised I would call if ever I need a taxi ride from Las Olas to David (since Armando is a taxi driver). One of the salesmen spoke broken English, so I proceeded to find the right bike. I was considering a classic one-speed, but when I realized that it cost the same as the 21-speed Rali Eclipse mountain bike, I went with the Rali. After adding a few modifications (padded handle bars, front & rear fenders, & a gel seat cover), the total cost of the bicicleta was $250.00. It's definitely not a Bike Friday (nor is it a Raleigh), but it's a good bike for running around Playa Barqueta and Alanje. This morning I did a bird-ride rather than a birdwalk & saw 4 Roseate Spoonbills, a Red-breasted Blackbird (very bright), and a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, not to mention my old friends the woodstorks, herons and egrets. Bicycling is quite nice on these mostly flat roads that meander the agricultural countryside. Next, I'll ride to Alanje (where I have yet to drive) so I can sit by the river and watch the wildlife.

1 comment:

mary said...

Elaine, I was in Tomy's this week, and was looking at the Eclipse. I'm considering two, one for me, one for my son, who's forty, weighs in at just over two hundred, and needs exercise!
Would you let me know what you think about the bike, now that you've had it for a month....
(I found your blog by googling Rali!)