Umesh Ghimire is a painter: large scale. He works to brighten whole houses, inside and out, or rooftop tiles with a lick of fresh paint. He uses his Portal Bicycle to get both himself and all his equipment to and from work. He is a self-made painter and works with a friend for clients who hear of the team by word of mouth. Presently, Umesh has two big projects he is working on - a new house being built just southeast of Kathmandu, and another property in Sanepa in need of a face-lift. He arranges for his team, which expands based on the job, to alternate between the two locations as needed, ensuring that both contracts are completed as agreed.
Mr. Ghimire and his family live in the north of the city. He commonly has a 15 - 20km (9 - 12 miles) journey to get to work through the busy city traffic. He has three children - twin 10 year old daughters and a 21 month old son - and often uses his cargo bike to give the girls a ride to school before he starts the working day! On the weekend he likes to take his kids to temple, or take his wife shopping, which he is able to do easily with the bicycle.
the most umesh has ever carried on his bike is six 10kg buckets of paint. that makes 60kg (132lb) carried up to 40km/25 miles in one day!
thanks to these heavy loads and long distances, umesh says he has lost 12kg (26lb) since getting the portal bike.
Mr. Ghimire came to Kathmandu aged 16 when his mother died, looking for work and a better quality of life. His true working passion is as a Sherpa (porter) on one of the many trekking routes that weave their way through Nepal's spectacular mountains. This coming October, he is looking forward to work the famous Annapurna range near Pokhara.
However, this work is only seasonal, meaning that for at least six months of the year Umesh has no work. Understanding the need and desire to provide for his family, Mr. Ghimire decided he must learn another trade. A friend of his was a painter and agreed to teach Umesh everything he would need to know, from buying the right equipment to technique. From there Umesh has found clients, developed his business, and even passed skills and knowledge on to other friends and staff.