Recipe for cycling: Ginger and Vanilla


Pam’s bicycle picture on the website

Mountains, riversides, bike lanes. Almost flat geography in the city. Almost no rain. Yep. Reno is a great place for cyclists. Since saturday when I arrived to my fellowship city, I’ve been looking for places where I could rent, buy, borrow a bicycle. Almost everyone who knows me can tell I can’t stand life without bicycles. I believe they are an incredible tool for women empowerment, social and environmental awareness, plus the perfect tool for being just happy. After spreading the word to my contacts here, with the help of my co-fellow Vicente and some other guys,  we looked on Reno Bike Project and I’m staying just one month here, I didn’t wanted to expend too much on a bike. I found a cheap and fair looking bike, owned by Pamela.  I called her, she told me the bike was with low tires and we scheduled our meeting at 8am today. Fortunately my company host waits me to be there at noon. I realized 8am was really early, and all the bike shops were closed until 10. So I tried to change the schedule with Pamela, and it didn’t work for her… I decided to stick to my word and go at 8am. I called a taxi for going. The driver was somewhat lost, he didn’t get the direction and we spent more than 10 minutes trying to meet. I was tempted to cancel the trip. Finally I met the driver. He was a really nice indian guy that was going to drive me towards my new bike and to the hotel in return. We had a very nice conversation. After some relocations of the destiny (I’m new with Uber and those taxi apps) we arrived to Pam’s home. It’s a shame I didn’t take a picture. I had the bike in front of me. None of the brakes were working and neither were the gears. Most of the parts were rusty. Poor bicycle.   I returned to the car really disappointed. We continued our talk:
– I came here because I need a bicycle for one month in fair conditions and good price, and this one was in very poor conditions. – What’s your name? – I’m Daniela – Vanilla? – No 🙂 That would be a great name. I love vanilla. What’s your name? – Harjinder. – Sounds like ginger! This is a Ginger – Vanilla trip so.
We laughed a lot about it. He, with his marked indian accent, me with this hispanic kichwa one. After a while, some blocks before the hotel, he said something to me.
ginger and vanilla

Ginger and Vanilla

– Vanilla, actually I bought a bike some months ago. I just used it twice and now is parked in my home. If you want, you can come and see it. – Wow… I didn’t expect it…
Fourth day in a foreign country. Going to a stranger’s home, indian guy around 50 years old. Just by myself. Doesn’t sound like the cautious thing to do. While I was thinking well about it, my guts were faster and they answered:
-Yes. Let’s go for it. (In Quito will be “¡chulla vidaf!”)
I won’t make this longer. Now, I have a perfectly working bicycle. Ginger told me I can return him the bike when I leave and he can give me some cash back, since I paid a little bit more than I was planning. 🙂 He told me his home is my home and whenever I need something, no matter what, I know where to find him. I just can’t find enough words to thank what happened. I do have a bicycle for a month plus an indian godfather. That leads me to think:

Just ask for it, and let the universe make its magic.


My bike while I’m here, Ginger-Vanilla with the Truckee River behind.

Location: Reno, Nevada, US. Situation: Daniela, founder of NANKAIA in the YLAI Fellowship Program


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