andres' life

Living the Dream

Bike Touring 101, Central America Style

Life on the road

Well it has been just over a week now since I ended my bike tour and I still find it hard to put this adventure into words. It has been especially interesting coming home from one adventure and jumping right into a summer of homelessness, climbing and spotty work…..

When I first came up with the idea doing a bicycle tour abroad, it seemed relatively easy. Fly somewhere, put bike together, ride bike, find a place to sleep, eat, sleep, ride bike, find a place to sleep,                                                                                                 eat, sleep, etc.

However upon landing in Guatemala it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in a new country where I did not speak the language fluently and I was somehow going to ride 1300 km through 4 more countries in 4 weeks. At first, I was stunned. I mean, how was I going to pull this one off? Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty good at BS-ing my way through most tough situations, but this one might require just a little more tact.

Eventually after just a couple days on the road it all started to make sense and before I knew it bike touring became my life for the next 3.5 weeks.

Granted I did not do any mega-huge bike tour like many other do, but for a first tour I feel I did just fine. The feeling of freedom as I rolled through villages, stopped where I wanted for food, and met up with people as I pleased will not be forgotten. Also, I was inspired to continue this crazy bike touring for the next few years off and on.

So what was learned from this trip? Well you can read my daily blogs from the tour but I think I can sum up the tour in 5 life lessons…

1. The only person you ever have to believe in/answer to in life is yourself. If you can find your own inner strength you will do great things.

2. There is beauty in everyone and everything and the struggle to find that beauty is always worth the reward.

3. Sometimes it is better to just hit the ground running and figure things out mid-race.

4. No matter how hard you think you have it, there are always people worse off than you. Be grateful for everything you have, no matter how pitiful it may seem.

5. As a general rule, those with the least amount to give are always the most willing to give the most.

While I can not share ALL the photos from the tour on this blog post, here are a few highlights from the tour…

Not exactly the best way to start your first bike tour... or maybe the best.

Heavy rains had washed out many bridges in Central America. What for me was a minor inconvenience of having to boat/carry my bike over was a major struggle for many locals.

A typical view along the way. On a bike you have endless opportunities to stop and really enjoy the landscape.

It's not all about biking. This is me on a rest day about to slide down a volcano on a home-made sled.

Sometimes the best way to get somewhere was not by road. So instead you load yourself and your bike on a ferry and float to and island!

Just as great as the biking are the people you meet along the way.

I actually met two other people touring. This guy had been riding since Uruguay and was headed to Indonesia... ya.

A fitting end to the journey.

The journey ain't over until you have finally made it back home.

In short, the tour was amazing and I look forward to my next one. But for now, a summer of Sierra Nevada rock adventures awaits!

peace, love and poptarts,

andy.

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This entry was posted on July 24, 2010 by in Biking and tagged , , , , , , .

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