This is my first post on my new blog about cycling. I have been cycling for a while, but I am planing a big tour and thought it would be good to have this blog just for cycling where I can put down my thoughts, and when I’m out on the road I can share my experiences.
I moved to Panama in October of 2012 (for the blog about that, see http://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/) After I got settled in I thought I would like to try riding a bicycle, something I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I went to the bike shop, they recommended a good sturdy steel bike (I’m a good size gringa gal), and off I went.
On my first time out I couldn’t make it up the small hill at the end of our street! After a few days I was able to ride around our small neighborhood. Then one day, I ventured out of the neighborhood which was really exciting! I spent the next few months riding around the area between our house and the Pan-American highway, which is bit over two miles away.
There is a very upscale neighborhood just south of us which is great for riding, and there is an army of gardeners who tend the yards of these houses. I passed Oliver so many times we ended up talking and becoming friends. He also rides a bike but it’s his only means of transportation. He told me that you can cross the highway and ride downtown (scary thought! There is quite a bit of traffic in town) You just need to be careful and patient with the traffic and it’s fine. He does it every day.
I picked a Sunday when the city is fairly quiet, I crossed the highway, and life hasn’t been the same since! I learned I can ride on busier streets, I can go pretty much anywhere I want, and traffic isn’t my favorite thing but it is quite possible to deal with. I started riding all over town, and venturing farther outside of town as well.
Then, I met a couple touring cyclists and this idea started growing in me. The rest, as they say, is history!