So, my friend has been asking me for some time to go bike riding with him and see parts of the city (Lima) that I don’t always see because I am lazy to walk sometimes. Since today is a holiday here, I decided to finally take him up on his offer. I headed over to his place, did a few practice laps in the parking garage (it has been 3 years!) and then we opened the garage door and ventured out into traffic!
All I can say is…thank goodness it was a holiday here and there was no traffic! Whoever said that riding a bike is something you never forget is right. What s/he forgot to mention was that reacquainting oneself with balance and speed took some time to master! Haha I had some wobbly, shaky times in the first hour, but it does come back to you. The only problem is that the streets of Lima are not really the glass smooth blacktops I am accustomed to back home in California. Trying to avoid potholes and not ruin his classic was a whole other story. I was trying to stay close to the sidewalks, but darting in and out of the middle of the road trying to avoid these holes…well, I wouldn’t have been able to do it with traffic. I am not sure how everyone rides bikes here…but I definitely would not invest in an expensive one, that is for sure.
But today brought back memories of the last time I rode a bike, which was with my Brazilian friend. We were traveling across Europe and stopped in Vienna for a few days to visit a friend of hers. As we were walking the city, we saw that they had bike rentals. She had the crazy idea to rent them and zip around the city and be like a “local”. Talk about a fairytale dream that needed a dose of reality! Turns out, she hadn’t been on a bike in a LONG time. She was zigging and zagging all over the place trying to get balanced and then ended up ripping her pants on the seat. It was hilarious. But eventually she got the swing of it and we were off to visit the sites. It was refreshing and nice to see a city that was bike friendly. Lima definitely is not but the main avenue I travel to work has a handy bike lane in the middle and I have to say, after today, I am sort of thinking I could bike to work. I would definitely be the only person riding with a tie and patent leather shoes, but no one said you can’t be stylish while riding.