Archive for July 29th, 2013


Monday, July 29th, 2013

Bureaucracy, lack of common sense or what Aristotle called “Practical Wisdom”.

Today I bring you a quick story.

We have been enjoying a couple of weeks with no rain. So, after a few weeks of no bicycle rides; I took my bicycle (La Poderosa) to work.

There is a big hill on my way to work called Cuesta de Villalobos. Almost when reaching the summit: surprise! I get a flat. To my good luck, there is a big –and well known- bicycle and motorcycle store less than hundred feet ahead. I asked the security guard if they had a shop there too, and he replies positively. He sends me to the counter to talk to the attendant. I asked him for fixing a flat (puncture) and he calls the technician.

Can you fix my tire I asked. Yes he says, but It won’t be ready until Wednesday (Three days later!?).  Thanks anyway. I’ll fix it myself; I tell him. But, can I borrow your pump please. Yes, ask the attendant at the front desk he commands.

Well, I walked towards the attendant and asked him for the pump. I can’t do that. That’s not my department, among other excuses and negative indications. He looks towards the manager for approval. The manager signals an OK and asks the person mopping the floors to go get the pump.

Don’t you love (not!) our bureaucracy!?

More: My tires use Presta Valves. The pump they bring me does not fit the Presta. I asked them for an adapter. The attendant had to ask the manager. The manager states that they don’t carry Presta Valves, or adapters. What!? I silently scream myself. Well, I’m glad I had an adapter in my saddle bag.

Either way; thanks for letting me use your pump.


Unlocking Bicycle Wheel:              30 seconds

Removing Inner Tube:                   45 seconds

Replacing with my Spare Tube:  90 seconds

Reinserting Wheel to Fork:          60 seconds

Total:                                                     Less than 5 minutes

Bicycle Shop Estimate:                   Three Days!

Oh! I got another related story.

A few months ago I went buying accessories and appliances (a lot of them) for my restaurant. At the register they were giving away calendars. I tell myself: Nice, I can use one of these home too. I asked the cashier for a second calendar. She stands there motionless, like if I had just told her and obscenity. She looks towards the manager, who was very close by and heard my request. The manager signals with his head an OK and the cashiers hands me the calendar. All that for a $.10 cents calendar.

La Poderosa