Posts Tagged ‘Bicycles’
As I explained yesterday, the duathlon is a sport which consists of two activities or legs. One is riding a bicycle as fast as you can, and the other one is running like the wind. It’s very similar to the triathlon, except that the swimming part is omitted.
The Cinta Costera is widely used as a venue for several sporting events. Biking, basketball, volleyball, walking, and jogging, are very popular. Below are several pictures of athletes desperately pedalling their bikes in an effort to grab the elusive gold.
I sat at one side of the highway and followed the subject in a movement called “panning” and clicked shutter the camera just in time as the bikers dashed by my side. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn’t. I apologize for the low quality of the images, but at least you can see in a rustic way, what was going on at the Cinta Costera. Ten percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing.
Having excused myself, here we go.
These are the pictures of the first part of the event. Tomorrow you will view the second and final part of the contest when the athletes make their last effort to reach the finish line. I’ll be waiting for you tomorrow morning. Please jot it down in your “To Do List”. Good Day.
If you ave been following my blog posts, you already know that this water hole is used for many social activities in Panama City. Young lovers meet on the strip and hold their hands while thinking of melodious wedding bells, athletes practice their basketball and volleyball skills, young kids dash with their skateboards and roller skates, elder people walk to exercise their legs, musicians play their favorite songs and the list keeps growing and growing.
During a photo walk to the Cinta Costera in late December, I saw the development of an exciting sporting event. It’s called a duathlon. Let me explain the sport. A duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg in a format, bearing some resemblance to triathlons. In this competition, the swimming leg is omitted.
Each athlete had its own share of cheering fans at both sides of the highway and on top of the pedestrian bridges. The scene was most stimulating and fun. Below are several pictures of the competition. Here we go.
Tomorrow I’ll post more action pictures of the actual event in progress. Good Day.
When Abdiel—our grandnephew—was about three, his godfather gave him a bicycle for Christmas. At such a young age, he barely used it. We kept the bike at home, and every time he came over, we persuaded him to ride the bicycle. Two rounds inside the livingroom and that was it. He preferred to play with a bunch of multi-colored Hot Wheels toys my wife had given him. As he grew older, he learned how to ride the bicycle and abused it to such a degree, the poor bike can barely roll its wheels. Abdiel was screaming for a replacement. Screaming is a soft word, in fact he shouted so loud it could be heard by the natives in Timbuktu.
His father who drives a yellow taxi, is having a hard time buying all the stuff for the traditional Christmas and New Year’s dinner. There wasn’t money to spend on expensive toys. Abdiel wouldn’t take No for an answer. He wanted a new Raly bicycle for Christmas and that was it. Period. Alcibiades, the father, told us about the situation. I said, “No problem.” “Pass the hat amongst the closest relatives and friends and ask for money.” The 20-30 Club does it every year and rakes in millions of dollars. In Panama they call it the Annual Teletón. Two weeks ago they raised more than $5 million in just 48 hours.
Immediately I made a list of potential contributors and came up with $90.00 which was a little more than the cost of the bicycle. The next day the hat was passed out and money started to flow in. Now as much as we expected, but nonetheless, it was money the desperate father didn’t have.
To make a long story short, two days before Christmas Eve, the money was raised in its entirety, plus the bicycle dealer gave us a discount and the final price tag of the bicycle came down to $76 and change. Abdiel would have his bike.
Somehow, the word got to him and he cried and cried until his father brought him to our house to see the sparkling yellow bicycle. When he saw it, his eyes opened the size of a quarter and shouted, “Tengo bicicleta nueva.” (I have a new bicycle). He wanted to take it home, but we said not yet. Santa needed to inspect it before delivering it to his house on Christmas Eve. He understood Santa’s wishes and reluctantly went home empty-handed.
While he was home, I took a couple of shots of Abdiel, Karol and the bike to freeze the happy encounter. I’m sure these pictures will be viewed and reviewed again in the future while I’ll be looking at the Gardenias from the roots, if you know what I mean.
No more talking, now let’s take a look at the brand new bike and “The Twisters.” Here we go.
And now you know why this post is called Christmas on Wheels. Happy biking Abdiel. Good Day.
Juan comes up to the Mexican border on his bicycle. He’s got two large bags over his shoulders.
The guard stops him and says, “What’s in the bags?”
“Sand,” answers Juan.
The guard says, “We’ll just see about that! Get off the bike.” The guard takes the bags and rips them apart; he empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains Juan overnight and has the sand analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags.
The guard releases Juan, puts the sand into new bags, hefts them onto the man’s shoulders, and lets him cross the border.
A week later, the same thing happens. The guard asks, “What have you got?”
“Sand,” says Juan.
The guard does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to Juan, who crosses the border on his bicycle.
This sequence of events is repeated every week for three years. Finally, Juan doesn’t show up one day and the guard meets him in a cantina in Mexico.
“Hey, Buddy,” says the guard, “I know you’re smuggling something. It’s driving me crazy. It’s all I think about. I can’t sleep. Just between you and me and the lamp post, what are you smuggling?”
Juan sips his Corona beer sarcastically and says, “Bicycles.”
As energy cost continues to rise or stabilize at a high level, the search for alternative cheap energy is the only way out. For a long time Europe has used the bicycle as a healthy, clean, and cheap means of transportation. For example, Amsterdam is considered the bicycle-friendly city of the world.
In Amsterdam it’s interesting to see people formally dressed in suit and tie and executive briefcases driving a bicycle to work. You don’t see that in Panama. That’s for sure. Another rare view, is a beautiful woman with a clean cut dress, a pearl necklace and fashion shoes taking a bicycle ride to go shopping to a nearby shopping center. Pets and children are also carried by their parents on a bike.
Another city that’s in love with bicycles is Paris, France. In Paris you can rent a bicycle as easy as renting a car at any major U.S. airport. Renting a bicycle in Paris is cheap, because the service is subsidized by advertising. It is estimated that more than 20,600 bicycles are rented in the City of Light at more than 1,450 self-service rental stations.
A bicycle is cheap, doesn’t require a drop of gasoline, it’s good for your health and doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. If only we had special bicycles lanes where people could drive their bicycles without getting hurt by passing cars. That would be like a dream come true.
Let me tell you that this dream is possible. A company under the name of Bicycle Transportation Systems, Inc. based in Centennial, Colorado has designed a special bicycle transit system dubbed, BTS Transglide 2000. This clever system increases mass mobility in urban centers at a fraction of the cost of traditional modes of mass transportation (i.e., subways, buses, trains, metros, and so forth).
According to BTS, the advantages of its unique bicycle transit system are:
- Speeds faster than light rail, buses, or motor vehicles.
- New strategy for mass transportation matches the carrying capacities of rail systems at an affordable cost.
- Lower capital and operating costs will generate large profits and not require continuous subsidies.
- Constant powered air movement in direction of riding removes air resistance allowing average riding speed of 25 miles per hour.
- Cycling inside the Transglide 2000 is 90 percent more efficient than normal cycling outside the enclosed airflow enhanced system.
- A low-cost, low-tech transportation solution to meet the challenge of providing affordable effective mobility that offers an alternative to the environmental problems created by increasing levels of motor vehicle use.
They are currently looking for partners who are interested in joint venture projects to build and operate this clean mass transportation system of the future. If you happen to work in public works and have a decision-making position in your organization, I would recommend you take a look at this wonderful project.
I’m crossing my fingers that somebody in the Ministry of Public Works in Panama is reading this post. It would be an excellent project to lessen the urban transit problems that are currently suffocating Panama City.