Dev got a new cycle today. A crappy-cheap Chinese one, like me. And while the state of mine has stabalized a bit over the months, his problems are just starting. Now I don't want to piss over Chinese mountainbike makers, but in the 24 hours that Dev had his bike, he broke his back spoiler, and his bike stand became so loose, it moved to stand position while riding; which can have fatal consequences when taking the wrong turn.
Compared to me though, he has a bit to go. In the few months I had mine, my left paddle broke off, my chain broke about 8 times until I got it replaced, my handle turned upside-down every few days, front- and back tire got punctured, I had to replace my back-brake cable, my gears in the front refused to go all the way up, my gears in the back refused to go all the way up, my back-brake connection broke, I had to recalibrate the sensitivity of my brakes a couple of times... that's all I remember at the moment.
I know all the bike mechanics in the neighborhood intimately now. There are about five from home to work. One tried to rip me off by demanding 150 rupies (1.50 euro), but usually I pay about 10 to 20 rupies. Anyway, as I said, my bike is stabalizing. Nothing happened to it for about 2 weeks. Just this disconcerting noise in the chain. My biggest problem now is the incredibly dusty air, which gets between my lenzes and makes me cry out in pain.
And the other road-users of course who don't give a shit about cyclers. Point in case: last week, when some guy decided to ram his motorbike in my back tire. With had as a result that me, my cycle, he, his motorcycle and his girlfriend rolled over the road like bowling-balls. My cycle's only gripe was that its steering wheel was off-centre. My only defects were some blood on hand, arm, knee and foot. My blood unfortunately. From my wounds. I queried my assailants a few times about their state, but they didn't react. Why I still don't know. Not because they were unconscious, I'm pretty sure. The driver was trying to fit some piece of his cycle back in place, but motorcycles aren't made of Lego.
More and more bystanders were gathering around, and I thought it was a nice time to get away, before it turned into one of those demand-money-from-the-foreigner charades. I'm ok now, thanks.
If you want respect on the roads of Kathmandu you know the solution: one wheel!