A guest post by Kyler
Three weeks of biking to the surf, possibly twice a day, requires not only heaps of grit and determination, it also requires a bike. Bikes can be rented here at 5 dollars a day. Three weeks at five dollars a day is, carry the one, $105. Seems smart to buy and sell. I asked my friend Sam at the dive shop where to find a used bike. He said, “I know a guy. His name is Junior, he has a small ‘shop’ across from the billiard bar. He is cheap, but very unreliable. You will likely have a flat tire the next day.”
Siri and I thought we would find Junior to see what he had on offer. It is a small “shop” with many bike frames, wheels, tires, gears etc., but no full bikes for sale. “No problem, tengo dos bicycletas lista a la manana a la ocho, $60 cada una”. We think “sweet, 60 bucks each, ready tomorrow, boom!” So, we pay the deposit and ask for loaner bikes. Junior gives the una momentito pinch
and arrives back in about fifteen minutes with a sweet ride. Siri’s yoga is close, so one bike will do for now. Psyched to have a bike to get surfing, I peddle the 8km out to Punch Beach the next morning. My friend and I are almost there and “POP!“, blown tire! Flat tire the next day, I should have seen it coming! I surfed then had to start the long walk back. A long walk it was.
Siri and I later return to Junior to pick up our two bikes. Junior is not to be found, check the pub. He comes out and says they are almost ready and to come back in the morning. I come back the next day early and after the second mementito pinch and am given another loaner. Luckily, I made it to the surf and back sans flat tire.
On the fourth day of Junior trips, we are presented with two snazzy cruiser bikes and are super psyched.
Can you guess what happened the next day? Flat tire. A one hour momentito later, fixed and back on the road. Couple days later, a bent rim and another 8km walk back from the surf. Next day, loose chain on loaner bike, lots of walking. Now, 2 weeks into our 3, I just got my Black Beauty back with a new, old rim and Siri’s Pink Panther is also in full operation. Well, Siri’s bike does have a pretty major bulge in the tire….
All and all, it has been a frustrating, funny and time consuming affair; a travel experience that I would never trade for an unreliable, rental bike in Bocas.