jueves, 27 de abril de 2017

The Milas' Mobile Bicycle Workshop

The Mila brothers don't limit themselves to two-wheeled vehicles.
Still hard at work after dark.
Last year, Jason Mila, 29, was one more young Colombian without employment. A resident of the poor Dorado hillside neighborhood, his poor public school school education didn't qualify him for much.

But Jason owned a street vendors' cart, and knew how to repair bikes. Today, he and his brothers, all of whom have experience with bicycles, including working for Bogotá Bike Tours, are operating a successful mobile bike repair cart along the pedestrianized stretch of Carrera Septima.
Bicycle rush hour on Carrera Septima.

Theirs is a long workday - often stretching from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to catch the rush hours - but it makes them part of Bogotá's expanding bicycle economy, which has seen a proliferation of such temporary, mobile workshops in recent years. And they also do house calls. (Call them at 321-995-9261.)

Repair stands such as Jason's occupy a legal grey area. Despite the valuable service they perform for clean transit, and the employment they generate for low-skilled people, the stands generally lack business licenses and occupy public space. Fortunately, the police don't appear to be cracking down on them. Jason believes he knows why - his clients include bicycle-riding cops.

Update: But recently city rule-enforcers have been hassling the brothers, forcing them to be truly mobile, as they scurry from spot to spot.

'You guys gotta move!' City employees with Bogota Mejor, (Better Bogotá) tell the brothers that they have to remove themselves from Carrera Septima. Repairing bikes is an obvious threat to social wellbeing.

The Milas' sign, pointing to their workshop, now located off of Carrera Septima. The Better Bogotá people have saved the avenue from the threat of bicycle repairs!

Not only tools in this cart.
A bike repair stand beside the Universidad Pedagogica...

...and another in the Centro Internacional.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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