Last year we discovered there is a pharmacist and small pharmacy here on Great Exuma about three miles north of Georgetown. One of the benefits of this is that drugs there cost substantially less than in the states. For example a tiny 2ml ear infection prescription was $15 here verse $120 in the states. And, with the exception of drugs like morphine, most don’t require a prescription.
After we arrived here in Georgetown two weeks ago I stopped by the pharmacy to fill a prescription for Katie. The pharmacist informed me that he would have to order the drugs and have them sent in from Nassau which would take about a week. So yesterday I loaded my bike into the dinghy and headed to town. The plan was to pick up the prescription prior to our planned Saturday departure.
Since arriving in Georgetown I’ve noticed that my rear hydraulic brakes haven’t been working properly. For the first few rides they would remain slightly engaged which depending on the age of the brakes is not to unusual, however, I had replaced these brakes this past summer. And since Great Exuma is relatively flat I figured the added resistance would add to the workout. After each ride I would make a mental note to see what was causing the problem, however, I’ve never followed up when I got back to the boat.
Yesterday after I had the bike unloaded at the dock I tried to spin the rear wheel and it barely moved as if the brakes were fully engaged. By the time I had the bike put together it was after eleven. The pharmacy is closed from noon on so I had no time to look at the brakes, off I went. With the rear brakes clearly demonstrating their effectiveness and with the wind on the nose at 15 to 20 knots the ride to the pharmacy seemed like an extreme hill climb. After getting Katie’s prescription I pushed my bike over into a shady spot near the store to see what I could do about my braking situation. I’ve had this problem in the past with other hydraulic brakes and was able to wedge a flathead screwdriver between the pads to spread them out allowing the wheel to spin. Depending on the situation this may work but usually renders the brakes for a one time emergency use. The other option is to bleed out some of the hydraulic fluid which releases the pressure but at a risk of making the brakes useless. I tried the screwdriver with no results and after looking over them realized these brakes didn’t have a bleeder valve, hummm.
There were two strange looking star head bolts on the side of the brakes. On my bike under the seat in a small bag I carry a patch kit, two Benadryl tablets for bee bites, $5 (US) and small multipurpose bike tool which just so happened to have the proper head for the star bolts. I completely removed one of the star bolts and nothing happened so I put it back. As I was tightening the bolt I heard a voice come from the woods: “don’t tighten that any more”. I continued to tighten the bolt when I heard “I told you don’t tighten that loosen it”. As I looked up from the bike an older local man, which now that I’m in my 50’s the term “older” has a renewed meaning, emerged from the woods. He pointed to the bolt I was tightening and said “loosen that two turns”. He then pointed to the other bolt instructing me to loosen it two turns which I did resulting in a slight release of hydraulic fluid. With his breath smelling of morning rum he told me to tighten both bolts by 1 ½ turns then try spinning the wheel and testing the brakes. The wheel spun freely and the brakes worked flawlessly. I thanked him with a “no problem mon” response after which he walked back into the woods. The whole experience was surreal and the brakes continued to work flawlessly. That evening I made vegetarian Tofu Taco’s. I use Tofu for a vast array of recipes from cold Curry Tofu salad to these zesty Tofu Taco’s, enjoy.
- 1 package extra or super firm Tofu
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ green or Anaheim pepper chopped
- 1 small can chopped green chili’s
- 2 - 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp each cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and sugar
- 1 Tbs each oregano, basil and parsley
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp black and white pepper
- 2 drops liquid smoke
- Taco shells, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, salsa and sour cream for taco fillings.
- Remove tofu from package and place between two plates with some sort of weight (wine bottle) on top to drain water from tofu, let sit for 10 min. Once water has drained from tofu cut into ¼ to ½ inch cubes and place into a wok or frying pan add oil. Cook over medium heat until tofu begins to brown then add garlic, green pepper, onion, spices, green chili’s, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Continue cooking until veggies caramelize and tofu turns a deep dark brown to almost black. Serve tofu with your favorite taco fillings.