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Mar 23, 2012:

A Blind Bicycle Mechanic

Distance to Date: 1887 km , 1132 miles

Our journey thus far has been amazing. The scenic views, myriad of adventures, and loads of fun have created memories for multiple life times. But more than that, our particular project to raise awareness has hit special chords with people we've met these past thousand miles.

Every time we meet other cyclists, we share our story and promote the fact that people with disabilities can still do amazing things. People we meet along the way are amazed, fascinated, and often awe-inspired by our project to cycle from tip to tip by ourselves. And there's always a blindness connection of some sort.

For example, the man who helped Tauru find a bike shop in Rio Grande (Update Feb 2) has a friend who's nearly blind; the tourist information lady in El Chalten has a brother who is blind; and a lady's husband in Buenos Aires is losing his vision but still wants to keep riding his bike. These connections and the connection we make with you help create more awareness and link the world of people with visual disabilities.

For this update, we want to share with you Sandy Vera, a blind bike mechanic in Ecuador. We know of him through Luis, a friend introduced to us by Nancy Vogel of Family on Bikes. We're coordinating with Luis to visit Sandy and to do various activities to promote the abilities of the disabled when we pass through Ecuador.

The news video link below is in Spanish and it's really inspiring to watch. Sandy works with his hands and has built a "family bike" by piecing two single bikes together (see news video at around 4:45). We could have used his help back in December (see Update Dec 27) when we were thinking of piecing two bikes together!

A "bici doble" (double bike -- aka tandem) for Sandy and his family. (News video is in Spanish)

Spread the word and help us Raise Awareness!

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