One of your first big purchases when you reach the mission field is your vehicle. Well, we have dropped $450 Argentine pesos ($120 USD) on 2 bikes to get the family from point A to point B. I was pleased to find out that these purchases are tax deductible. Of course, these are not high-end new bikes. There are repairs that will be involved. Fortunately they are cheap, and deductible too. I wonder if I can write off my food because that is the fuel that makes my bike work.
Along with the neighborhood markets, we also have neighborhood services available. Just 5 blocks from the house is a bike repair place. We are already on a first name basis in there.
So far the repairs have been:
- Flat on my wife’s bike patched
- Axle on my bike rebuilt
- Wife’s rear wheel straightened (after she spent time riding through a rough ditch)
- My brakes adjusted
- My axle adjusted again
Repairs that are imminent:
- Wife’s front tire needs to be replaced
- Her front wheel has 2 broken spokes as well as several loose ones
- A need for carrying bags/basket on my bike
I will get some tools and do most of the work myself. I have a nice spoke wrench sitting in the drawer of my room in Florida. But that does not help alot here. The pastor we are working with recommended a place that will have a good selection of bike specific tools that I may visit tomorrow.
The next big adventure is to take my bike on the train to get myself downtown with the bike and then I can get anywhere I need to go. The buses don’t have a way to tote your bike with you, so you either have to ride into town (we live outside of town by a couple of miles) or take the bike on the train.
We will keep looking for bikes for our kids, but so far we have not found any good deals. I am nervous about our daughter (6 years old) using a bike to actually go anywhere, but it would be a great help if our 120+ pound son had a bike of his own to ride instead of riding on the back of mine.