I had no idea what I was buying the other day. We’d set out to buy a new bicycle for our son Milan and ended up walking half way around Cusco. The first bike store we’d gone to was closed, the second store was closed, on our way to the third store we got side-tracked into the Post Office, a vain attempt to find an Ali Express package that went missing back in March. Long story short we found a Specialized Peru bike store around the corner from the Post Office and out of their last 4 or 5 bikes in inventory(*) they actually had the right size for our son.
I had no idea Specialized was a brand name leave alone that they are actually the brand most credited with inventing the mountain bike but walking into the store it was obvious these were high-end bikes. We’re not wealthy but we’re comfortable and there wasn’t any way I was going to walk to 3 more stores. Since we live in the Peruvian countryside now splurging on a good bike for the kid seemed like a defensible theory so we picked up a Specialized Riprock for the little dude.
To be abundantly clear my son would have loved any other new bike just the same and how much fun your kids have with their bike has nothing to do with the price of the bike. Taking them out to play is all that matters.
With that disclaimer out of the way and not to mince words, my son’s new Riprock is freaking awesome.
Since we live in the Sacred Valley now there is literally 1 paved road within a 3 mile radius of our house, everything else is rock, dirt and gravel. Back when we lived in the city my son was still riding his little 12″ bicycle but it was already too small for him, even in the city. Here on the country roads he really couldn’t ride it any more, 3″ rocks everywhere was just too rough on the little 12″ tires. With his new Riprock my son eats mud for breakfast and slings rocks at lunchtime. I honestly thought the oversized tires were a bit silly when I first saw them in the store but they really help with his balance on slippery mud and when hitting rocks. Now we can easily ride from our house to the main square in Calca, splashing through every puddle and mooing at every cow along the road.
The first time we took him out on his new bike he was afraid to get it dirty. About 3 days later you could hardly even see the bike’s original color anymore. I’m sure most kids fortunate enough to ride a Specialized bike live in nice suburbs and not on dirt roads but that’s OK too. Living in the Peruvian country side isn’t better per se than living in a nice suburb, or vice versa. Everyone should live their life. But if you do live on a dirt road, your kid needs a new bike and the price tag doesn’t affect your way of life, get a Riprock and make sure your washer machine is tuned up 🙂
(*) Many stores in Peru have had inventory shortages due to COVID-19, imports have been bogged down since March.