|Ain't she a beaut?! The bike, not the mustache,|
although props to Matt for that.
It's a similar feeling I had as a child when my family would go on vacation and I had to choose which stuffed animal to bring with me. I once stood in front of my collection of stuffed animals and proceeded to deliver a speech on how I loved them all equally but I could only take one with me which, of course, would be my beloved pot-bellied bear. It's name was Popalee because when I was even younger I couldn't pronounce the word pot-belly. Thus, Popalee This is a true anecdote. I'm serious. I remember standing in my flowered wallpapered room, all my animals lined up on the cream colored book shelf that my dad built (there was a plethora and I won't even begin to tell you about the Barbie collection my sister and I accumulated when we were wee ones). I seriously assumed they came alive when I wasn't around.
|Taking the bikes for a spin to Punta Uva|
The bikes I'm using these days are part of the perk of living at Om hostel. Yes, I'm doing it again. I'm living at a hostel as well as working reception here two days a week. They offer some bikes for free use here. Apart from the fact that they have a yoga studio on site, the offering of free bike use was the winning factor in my staying here. It ended up working out even more in my benefit as I am now working here as well. And hadn't I always wanted to test the waters of being a receptionist at a hostel? My how your dreams can come true!
|The road home with my friend and bunk mate, Molly|
The bikes are not fancy by any means and all of them could use some air in the tires but they get you where you need to go and they've got personality, spunk and charisma. There's the blue one with the finicky chain. Be prepared to have bike grease adorn your hands everytime you use this one as forced stops are mandatory at least twice throughout your journey to put the chain back on track. I can now add this to my list of random things I've become good at since I started traveling; efficiently and quickly putting a bike chain back on the sprocket. (I'd like to add this is the first time in my life that I've used the word "sprocket" in my writing and a celebration of some sort should be had. Drink a glass of dry rosé or have an Uncle Val's gin and soda with a lime for me). There's the pale green one with the extremely long frame made for someone with gorilla arms. There's the white and blue one that is my favorite, however, the equilibrium is somewhat off so you are always steering the bike at an angle to ride in a straight line. Very counterintuitive. There's the red one with the weird, slightly broken pedal and a bit of a lag in the rotation of the wheels. This one is my least favorite and I avoid it like I avoid bad wine; only taking part if there is absolutely no other alternative. At least bad wine can be amended slightly by adding juice or soda water. Adding juice or soda water to the red bike will not amend it. In any way. I know for a fact. I tried. However, I would never pass judgement on ol' big red, we all have our quirks.
The one thing they have in common besides two wheels and sprockets (have another sip!) are that they are all rusty. This is how it is here. Metal rusts about as fast as water spilling out of a kicked over bucket. Jewelry tarnishes immediately after you polish it, wet bathing suits rarely fully dry thus encouraging signs of the rankest smelling kind of moldy dampness. The heat, humidity, salt and constant rain (we are just beginning to come out of the throes of the rainy season) all contribute to this common rust theme on all bikes here. But it's all good, that doesn't stop anyone from rotating those pedals and enjoying the jungle view. (Some native Spanish speakers here pronounce the word, "jungle" without the "j" so it sounds like "yungle." It's my favorite word to hear. It makes me giggle every time and I want to pat people on the head or give them a cookie for having such a darn cute pronunciation of the word. Then I wonder if people think the same thing about me when I speak Spanish and if so, where are my cookies, eh?)
|This is how I feel after biking!|