An moving message from an aspiring Brazilian wheel builder struck me. While his situation is certainly tougher than many other cycling countries, it’s easy to hear that common set of obstacles we all face:
It is my personal dream to enter the strange and mysterious world of the IWB, as you call it. However, it is quite difficult to do here because spokes sizes are very limited and It is is often impossible to build wheels because of the lack of availability of appropriate spoke lengths, as a consequence I fantasize about a Morizumi. Though we have a very strong and often extravagant bike culture (it is not uncommon to see riders on $10,000 bikes), the world of bike mechanics is still very much seen as a poor man’s occupation, and a wheel builder is not only under appreciated but non existent. I hope to change that. [May 14, 2014]
My goodness, all his points apply to the USA. Sometimes we have more in common with our occupational/avocational peers around the world than with fellow citizens. One thing for sure, it is definitely improving. Everywhere, change is underway thanks to confidence and conviction of folks like our Brazilian builder.
My correspondent is from Santa Catarina in Brazil’s very south. The builder above is in the Amazon region of the north. Erivan does not likely see $10,000 bikes in Manaus but he’s fixing wheels thanks to an enlightened microfinance assist. Check it!