First Long Bike Ride!

(Post 210 of 263)

Yesterday was Independence Day, so most of the city was in Centro watching the parade. It was cloudy and only about 26 degrees, so the perfect time to try again to do a long bike ride. I did about 20KM in about 2 hours!

Honestly, that was almost more than I should have done, though, on my first outing out — the last kilometre or two were brutal and I was very stiff when I got in! It took me a good 15 minutes more than Google thought it would to reach the Paseo Verde, so before I attempt to ride the whole length of it, I am going to work at shortening the trip there.

There were three main segments to the trip, the ride west through my neighbourhood, the ride south down Avenida Mérida 2000, and then the ride west on Avenida Jacinto Canek.

My neighbourhood was quiet and easy to ride through. Lots of pot holes and obstacles, of course, but you just have to be vigilant.

There was a brief section on a busy road to be able to turn left on to Avenida Mérida 2000 that is going to require some practice. I could not figure out how to safely turn left on a bicycle to end up in the correct bike lane. I may have to walk that intersection. But a bike lane! Avenida 2000 is a fairly new road, so it was designed with bike lanes on either side. They are in depressions so I sometimes came across lakes, but, generally, the bike lanes were in good condition.

To my surprise, Jacinto Canek also has a bike lane, but it is faintly marked and doesn’t have little “bumpers” along it to remind drivers to stay in their lane. The stretch was fine with yesterday’s traffic, but I doubt I’d want to do it at rush hour. By this point, there were signs guiding us to the Paseo Verde, so where I had to turn left/south was a well designated pedestrian crosswalk that is like a very high tope. Had to walk that one. And then, I was in nature!

The Paseo Verde felt like another world, very lush and green after all the rain we’ve had. I was already tired and the path is quite hilly, plus there were a lot of muddy gravel sections, so I didn’t get very far, maybe a quarter of the way down it before turning back.

I made one stop on the way home, for a cold drink, and discovered that because I’m rarely going to encounter a proper bike rack, I need a much longer chain.

As I said, I was really tired on the way home, but it wasn’t a slog and I enjoyed seeing my part of the city in this way. It felt much smaller than it does on foot and much more accessible than it does by car. I can’t wait to go out again! Next trip, I think I’ll be a little less ambitious and stick to my quadrant, exploring the new bike lanes in Francisco de Montejo.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t come home this muddy, exhausted, sore, and happy since my trek to Wuthering Heights!