More pictures from Techiman Ride.

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Mountain biking is pretty much the best thing. Ever. (After bike polo – lets be honest). I am reminded of this as Jason just sent me these pics he took of our ride last week.

Makes me wonder where my priorities are at that I am not mountain biking all the time when I am back in the states… I’ll have to fix that this summer. Vermont trails are calling.

Muddy trails after the previous nights rain.

Muddy trails after the previous nights rain.

I can't stay clean. Ever.

I can’t stay clean. Ever.

Serious Bike Parking

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On my way to Ghana I had a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam, and I took a train into the city to drink some coffee, eat some waffles, and check out the city’s infamous bike culture. And I gotta say – Amsterdam is serious about bike parking. This is just ONE of the bike parking structures outside the central train station.

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In fact, there are so many bikes everywhere that every possible surface, and then some, have bikes chained to them.

Riding Outside Techiman

Jason leading the ride.

Jason leading the ride.

After spending a couple of days being pretty ill, I woke up on Monday feeling marginally better and so Jason, Harley, and I went out for a ride in the bush outside Techiman. This was both a great and terrible idea. It was terrible because my body was exhausted from 2 days of expelling everything that had been in it, and heading out during the middle of the day with the sun so high was also probably not the greatest idea. We had to cut the ride shorter than we had intended because my body just couldn’t hack it. Oops.

But it was also awesome because we went out riding in an area where Village Bicycle Project has done a lot of programming, and we ran into a few folks with their bikes out on the farms.

James with his bike.

James with his bike.

SAM_1827We interviewed these two guys about their bikes, and were especially keen to ask how many repairs they had needed, where they repaired their bikes, and if they had any tools. So many bikes in Ghana get literally ridden to death because people don’t know how to recognize when repairs need to be done or there is no repair infrastructure around to fix the bikes. Both of the people we ran into kept their bikes in good shape, had had repairs done, and one of them had attended an advanced tools workshop and clearly enjoyed wrenching on his bike.

So even though I spent some time dry heaving on the side of the road, it was still totally worth it.

I’ll load more pictures next week – my connection right now is slow, and this internet place is playing New Direction on repeat and I need to leave.  Laterz.

 

Photo Updates from Ghana

After a little over a week in Accra, yesterday I traveled 8 hours to Techiman – a town pretty much straight in the middle of Ghana. I’m hanging out here for a few days before heading to Koforidua on Tuesday. Techiman is beautiful, and approximately 1000 degrees cooler than Accra. I’ve been enjoying the breeze, afternoon rain storms, and just chilling in a quiet neighborhood. Tomorrow we’re planning on going out mountain biking through some of the rural farm area, and I’m pretty pumped to hit the single track : ).

But at last – some pictures! First are some photos from a container unloading at the Accra warehouse. This container arrived from Re-Cycle in the UK, and although I wasn’t able to get there in time to see the actual unloading of the bikes, I got to see the selling process afterwards, which was what I really wanted to see.

When the bikes come out on the other side.

When the bikes come out on the other side of the ocean.

As the container unloads, the buyers stack the bikes they want to buy in a pile and then wait to negotiate the price at the end.

As the container unloads, the buyers stack the bikes they want to buy in a pile and then wait to negotiate the price at the end.

Mountains of bikes everywhere.

Mountains of bikes everywhere.

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The next day VBP loaded a big truck with 100 bikes for 5 days of one-day workshops in the Northern part of the country. They’ll be doing 5 one-day workshops where they distribute 20 bikes a day, and then they will be teaching 2 days of advanced mechanics training to the first 50 people who come. Continue reading

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