We designed my new bicycle together with Bahadır who is designer of Kron bicycles. This will be a mountainbike suitable for 29 inch rims. However, there are also many things on this bicycle not as I wished to be. The Covid-19 virus emerging in China resulted to stop the whole production lines which affected the production of my bicycle. Why doesn’t Kron Bicycle produce the aluminum frame in Turkey? The reason is simple, it is very costly to establish a production line that will produce, shape and weld high quality aluminum frames in Turkey. Furthermore, our government doesn’t support bicycle producers, therefore it is feasible to let the frames be produced in countries as China, Malaysia, Tayvan, etc., where the production costs are low. Many other famous brands also follow the same way. The designer of the the Kron Bicycle is Turk, but the producer is China. This means that I have to wait for my bicycle for a long time. Kron Bicycle Company sent me a 2019 model Kron RC 3000 so that I have a bicycle in the mean time.
As I have mentioned in my previous articles before, it is a pleasure to ride a racing bicycle in the capital Bogota.When the city was intertwined with the Andes Mountains, you had a 3000m climb on the 140km track. If you do this in the form of 70km round trip and 70km return, it is quite good. Even if you don’t want to go uphill, you can find flat areas where you can pedal for kilometers.
There are many beautiful national parks around Bogota. My friend Paula invited me to one of them. A route on which we’ll hike in Chingaza National Park. Till we returned to Bogota I got completely wet. You can observe the impact of the tropical zone in the geography. Therefore, whenever I go for hiking on such route I keep saying: “Dude, good that the shoes I use when I’m riding are Gore-tex Shimano boots. They are incredibly user friendly for such activities.”
Chingaza National Park is situated near Bogota. You can go there with tours departing from the city. Since I hiked through more beautiful routes in South America, this didn’t come attractive to me at the beginning. But, then the different plants inside the park caught my attention. These plants were endemic to this region and to the east reaching to Venezuela. Of course this region is also affected by global warming and a serious reduction of some plant and insect species were observed.
During our hike we had a good conversation. During our return to the city I was sitting with to other people on the back and all of a sudden my blood pressure dropped down and my stomach got upset. I told Paula to stop the car. We stopped at a gas station and I got out of the car to take breath. For a long time I didn’t have such a long journey in car, for the first time I had carsickness. Being in a closed place, the breath of five people, don’t know but I felt sick. After catching some fresh air we continued. The last time my blood test were good. I was in healthy condition, anyway I’ll keep on following the situation.
In one of the next days, Paulo invited me to an organization made by her company. Paulo owning the name of this business has also a branch office in Istanbul. Big companies undertake their organizations at the place where there is a large villa owned by Paulo. Some of the rooms are used as offices, some other rooms are rented for meetings. To the organization held on that day the representatives of the biggest informatics companies were attending. Paulo invited me since I was his friend. The supporter of this organization was British Embassy.
Before this organization I had a conversation with Mehmet head of Bogota branch of TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency). We had a talk about TIKA’s projects. What I saw/encountered and what I wished to be done, what TIKA should have done, told him from my perspective. TIKA is a gigantic organization, some of its projects are very good but some are really outraged. It is agency capable of doing much better projects.
I attended this organization supported by the British Embassy sitting at very the back row. The subject was: inviting engineers and software developers from the British government and security governments to Bogota and sharing a different vision and know-how on business innovation and technology, searching for partnership possibilities under the support of the British Embassy.
One of the representatives of the British security companies talks about the software and technological differences between the two countries and says: “If you are working on new software or have innovative ideas then work with us, UK has good infrastructure and opportunities.” Sad that no one among the listeners stands up and says “the reason of this under development is due to the European countries exploiting all the above and under ground resources of this country and supporting the organizations destabilizing the country.” Well, if you really want to support, don’t invite those people to your country and help them to establish their own infrastructure in their country. Furthermore, it is really interesting that asking for support on siber security issues from Colombian entrepreneurs. On top of it, one of the Colombians took the word and talked about the support and opportunities he received to move his company from Colombia to UK. Then, I got informed that there were a former US and a former UK soldiers among the speakers. They said that they were seeking for innovative ideas about space technology and about to reduce the damage on the nature to the lowest. The same way, we have large opportunities to offer, come to us and we work together. At he end of the presentation I went next to Paula and said: “These guys came her for hunting. That’s what I felt.” “How come?” she asked. “British Council will support. Share your ideas about informatics, environmental pollution, space technologies and siber security with us and we’ll pay you off” they say. Well, what can I say, god help you. I have already written in my previous articles. This won’t change in the next centuries in South America, such a geography.
Slums of Bogota make people scared. On top of it, listened what were happening in those regions from the locals. I passed through these regions on bike towards the city center. An important warning: Never and ever stop on the road for someone calling out, especially if your bike is loaded. Just salute and pass by, never stop…
The view especially among the 70th and 90th streets in the city center is nice. The city has it own texture. Since the city faces towards the mountains, the mountains laid up with red bricks and the green vegetation covering those mountains look nice. In an absurd manner, Bogota has a unique atmosphere. It is possible to ascend to 3200 m from the inside of the city situated at 2800 m. The landscape is spectacular. There are also-hawk and falcon hills here.
One evening Hamdi said: “We’ll e going to the most interesting restaurant in Bogota, you’ll love it.” Well, I’ve seen nor heard about such a restaurant before. I really loved it being former owner of a restaurant. That was a very creative concept. This restaurant has two branches in Bogota and a branch in Medellin. The legendary one is the one first established in Chia 50 km outside the city. The name of the restaurant is Andres. The one in the city center of Bogota doesn’t have the same atmosphere.
Andres is a steakhouse. The restaurant in the town Chia is huge. So huge that a street goes in the middle of the restaurant. I don’t remember how many main halls it has. They are all interconnected and it has 5 or 6 dancing floors. One of these is the main stage and the show this stage can be watched throughout the halls on the screen via cameras. The cousin are very good, it has a huge kitchen, an open kitchen. I counted exactly 24 cooks. Look, 24 cooks and the owner of the restaurant himself is also one of the cooks. That is there are a lot of employees. And the most impressive part is that all the waiters and the show crew are students of Bogota Conservatorium. The costumes of the waiters and waitresses, the details in the restaurant, the employees all are artists and students. These students create a new show every weekend, a totally extraordinary ambience. All the schools in the city celebrate their graduation in this restaurant. I was impressed by the place and its concept. You have to buy a ticket in advance before going to this restaurant. Hahaha, well you pay to enter the restaurant. They also offer car service for the guests drinking alcoholic beverages since the restaurant is outside the city. I asked whether there is a demand for such a service. The answer was astonishing. It is for free. How come? It turned out that the car insurance policy in Colombia was covering this issue. At the beginning it was limitless but then due to high demand 5 time a month limit was put in the insurance policy for this service. Well, if you go out every week end for entertainment, then a joker will remain. This is a nice service for people taking alcoholic beverages when they go out. Could be applied also in my country. The main reason being caught driving when drunk there is no fine you are put directly into jail and your driving license is cancelled. Good job. The insurance companies should think about this issue and the laws in my country should be overhaul to fit this issue.
Living in Bogota I was always active on weekends. One weekend we went to La Cholera waterfall together with Hamdi and his friends coming from different countries to settle-down in Bogota.
We had started to ride with Ali and Hamdi with lots of climbs, long tours. Even, we met local cyclists. The time past fast and my visa expired. Well, I was still waiting for my new bicycle to arrive. Now, I can extent my visa for 3 moths but The Colombian government says: “if you stay for 6 months in the country with tourist visa then you are not to allow to extent for another 3 or 6 month. Either you apply for a student visa or employment visa.” I thought, I exit the country and then reenter. That was the most likely thing to do. “I take a flight to Chile and then return” I thought. I bought a flight ticket to Santiago and took my Kron road bicycle with me. But the things did go another way. When I arrived at the airport I was wearing my mask and people around were sneezing and coughing uninterrupted.
I must say, I was the only one on the plane wearing a mask. Even, the flight steward sawing my mask smiled and said there is no need for such a protection. But, still I kept my mask on. The mask I’m using is kind a different and shows up itself. Landing in Chile my temperature was taken and I was asked where I came from. Exactly one day after entering Chile all the borders were closed in South America and the flights canceled, interurban passages forbidden. I had to stay at Viviana’s house in the Nunoa region in Santiago exactly between March 12th 2020 – December 2nd 2020. Once again I counted my chickens before they were hatched
There was lockdown in Santiago from April 2020 to September 2020 and not like the lockdown in Turkey. Twice a week a permission was given only to go out for 3 hours. We had to apply for the permission before going out from the police department via internet. Outside entering a hospital, a grocery or a pharmacy we were asked to show our permission documents. The police on the streets asked for the permissions to everyone. The fine of not having a permission was 2500 USD and also prison sentence. The pandemic occurring once in 100 years coincided with my tour around the world on bike. The borders closed in March 2020 were reopened at the end of November 2020 so that I could return to Colombia. The only thing remaining in this tour is an encounter with the extra terrestrials. Not a meteor falling. The year 2013, while I was riding across the north of Russia, a meteor fell on the north of the country. You watch this happening on Youtube. Let’s see what the next years will show us.