Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Road Bumps

We had the longest day yet on bikes yet from the town of Teotihuatan to Puebla, covering approximately 78 miles at about 8300 ft of elevation. Not a bad day considering the bikes alone weigh about 30 lbs with an additional 50lbs of gear strapped to them. After spending two weeks on pavement, covering distance I realized bikes are a fantastic form of transportation; it turns food objects such as snickers bars, tacos, and rice into energy which allows for the begrudging traveler to cover immense distance (if they only have the determination to do so). But just like a car, guzzling in fuel with an energy output, sometimes you fill up with a bad tank of gas, and the car doesn't run quite right. For us, we think it was a bowl of soup, with juice, and a enchilada combo we all got for dinner one night in Teotihaucan. Luckily, we had a planned two days rest in Puebla, where we envisioned ourselves climbing volcanoes near the city, meeting locals, and exploring the city. Instead the three of us have been relatively holed up in a room much to small for three men, three bikes, and gear strewn everywhere. To make matters worse our "economical hotel" comes complete without a toilet seat, and a sink which drains onto the floor to flow into the shower drain.

This bad tank of gas manifested itself after dinner last night in the form of travelers diarrhea which I was the first to feel the effects of; then poor Kai woke Ben and myself up by sprinting to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Last but not least, Ben is on his fourth Imodium and is sleeping like a baby on his birthday, he said hes hoping to feel well enough to simply enjoy a beer at some point.

In addition to our first round of 'butt pea' (as we have deemed it), we also had our first use of the first aid kit due to a bicycle wipe out. Ben and Kai were entering Puebla (I was about an hour behind unconcerned with speed) when Kai bumped Ben's rear pannier while drafting off him and it created just enough of a wobble for him to hit the pavement. Skidding to a halt from 20mph left Kai with road-rashed hands, a bloody elbow, bruised and scraped hip, and a couple other minor afflictions.  They decided to do a quick road bandage, using some spare cloth, and make it to Puebla. Meanwhile I kept pedaling unknowing of the incident to arrive to Puebla about an hour behind with the first aid kit.

Some people would label our predicament as rather terrible, and quite honestly parts of the past two days has felt as such. However, Kai has no serious injuries besides his scrapes and we know now better how to deal with a little road rash. Also, even with each of us not feeling top notch we still managed to do a small tour of historical downtown of Puebla this morning after meeting an English-Spanish teacher who very enthusiastically showed us the main sights. Additionally, we think we may be able to see our volcano tomorrow and we hope Ben feels well enough for a beer tonight. If nothing else, we are a bit closer as a group of three and are excited to continue on with our adventure.

-Jonathan Williams

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