Wednesday, March 29, 2017

i call him trigger

I have a new mount.

New to me, that is. A bicycle -- only slightly used.

While I was in New Zealand, I took two bicycle tours -- one in the countryside, the other in the wilds of urban Wellington. On one of the trips, I texted my sister-in-law that I was having such a good time, we should buy bicycles for the three of us.

The thought was not original with me. Darrel and Christy started looking at bicycles when they came down in December. Darrel's attention was fixed on big tire bikes -- so he could ride on the beach.

Christy informed me I was a little late with my suggestion: they had already bought bicycles in my absence. My former landlady, Christine, is a biking fan. She and our mutual friend Anne are a common sight in these parts on their bikes.

She had directed Darrel and Christy to a used appliance store on the main highway. Two brothers import bicycles bought at auction in The States. The quality is far better than most of the bicycles on offer at either Walmart or La Comer.

When I returned home last week, I knew where I needed to go. After riding Darrel's bicycle around the courtyard, I decided it was a good fit.

So, yesterday, Darrel and I headed over to the appliance store. The brothers were a little low on selection. But that was understandable. The capital investment is large.

After trying out a few, I opted for one with disc brakes on a snazzy gold and black frame. I almost felt as if I should be slipping on my newspaper bag to deliver the morning Oregonian.

This morning, Darrel and I gave my new equipment a test spin. We decided to take Nueva España out to the main highway. Just past my house, it turns into a rather rough dirt road. Just perfect for testing the capabilities of a mountain bike.

If the road had been just dirt and rock, it would have been a perfect trail ride. But, in the hopes of evening out some of the potholes, a road crew had spread mounds of sand on the road. Bicycles and sand are not a natural mix.

But, the obstacle gave me an opportunity to hone my riding skills. Something I did not need to do on the paved roads and streets of New Zealand. My turning ability in sand is still a bit rusty.

Here is my confession. I have been reluctant to buy a bicycle because a very skilled bicyclist from Oregon was killed on our highway just before I moved down. Eight years of driving here has not made me re-think my position that bicycling here is a risky business. That feeling was exacerbated with Jack Brock's death.

My trip to New Zealand reminded me I was verging on hypocrisy. I moved to Mexico for challenges -- to get up each morning and not know how I am going to get through the day. Bicycling on our local roads certainly falls in that category.

Between walking and bicycling, I should have enough exercising options to avoid boredom. And that is going to be a problem when Darrel and Christy head back to Bend next week.

Until then, the three of us will be bike marauders. Evildoers beware!

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