Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Usually when I first buy a bicycle as I did yesterday I am enamored with it for sometime, unfortunately this time love has taken a rocky start. I was a little worried that they said that they could replace the tires, install a basket, and change a fixed gear into a multi gear bike in 15 minutes, but with the number of bikes on the road here I thought these guys must know what they are doing. I was a little worried when Quyen translated the receipt which said that there were no refunds, but I had already paid my 750000 Dong (about 60 bucks) and I wanted to hit the road. It was immediately clear that if I was going any kind of speed the breaks were ineffectual, but then 5 mins into my ride home the chain came off-- no big deal, I re-attached it, but then as soon as I resume peddling the chain breaks! Luckily there is a bike repair stall on almost every corner and a kind gentleman repaired my change and charged me 3000 Dong (about 15 cents). Then today I was starting out to ride to the market and the chain came off and then broke again. One of the hotel staff took it to be repaired again and I hope for the best.

I wanted to ask my more bike-knowledgeable friends out there, who are hopefully reading my blog, for some advice. Do you think that all of this breaking has to do with the gears or is the chain perhaps too short? I think there are probably a multitude of explanations. I also wondered if you recognize the back breaking system shown above. How does it work and how might I make it work better? Any ideas?

Anyway, being on a bike is much more fun than walking here and I feel less self-conscious getting myself around that way... if I could just get the thing to work!

2 comments:

Rozee said...

I asked Morton if he could shed any light on this whole bike situation, and he couldn't diagnose without looking at the bike. To that end, I am packing him up and sending him to Vietnam with his bike tools. He should be able to fix it no problem :)

Flo said...

If all it takes to get one of you guys to come out here is bike problems, I should have bought one long ago! Really all you need is a couple of days and a few thousand dollars! It's that simple!

I look forward to Morton's arrival and to showing him around the metropolis that is Tra Vinh ;)

Shout out to Calvin for his email regarding this post.