Seriously, what is this?
This is just insane!
How am I supposed to do anything in these conditions?
The friendly guard dog of the Bomberos stares back at me blankly. Its 6am and the sun is so hot i am having a hard time accepting it. Get an early start the gentleman of fire had said last night over dinner. They had invited me to join them for some delicious meat and rice and were a jovial hospitable bunch. The youngest of them all, a paramedic from the city had told me, ´Man, I dont know how you do it! I play football for 45 minutes and Im dead, you have good conditioning, leave early its more frescito. It was early, very early, and far from frescito.
Im not sure the root to a binge but I would say that a part of it lies in addiction and as anyone in recovery can tell you, addiction is pure selfishness. Take the average friday night back home, on the town. Many are on a binge, another drink, and another, you know when its enough, but you dont care, you will do as you please, the choice has already been made. It is your night and you will lose yourself or find yourself in a field of selfish goodness.
Its mid day and the thermometer reads 50c, so its more like 45c, and humid, I should stop and take a break and wait out the sun, but an its hard, and I like hard. I was told it would be flat, I was still waiting. I hope for clouds and rain, they come momentarily. The last hour of the day is here, its my favorite, the sign tells me Im 51 KM away from my planned destination, on these roads and my tired legs that could be half a day. Legs hurt, keep spinning. I hear a lady say have a nice afternoon in English, look over and a woman or a young girl, wearing red is standing in a corn field, completely still apart from a waving hand, it creeps me out, I shout back y tu tambien convinced that she wouldnt be able to hear me, I hear a thanks echo back, it was eerie and afterwards I was not sure if it actually happened.
Night falls and finally I get the frescito. Stop, call it a day, theres always tomorrow and what is in Santiago anyway, nothing..I check my water, only a few sips left..Food, nothing but sugar and salt.
The night is young, one more song, one more hill, one more almost eating dirt pothole. Back hurts, keep spinning. Just move fast enough so the mosquitos dont get you, do it. I mix as much sugar as I can with my last few sips of water, it reminds me of sugar cane juice. Another flat tire, thats 2 too many, just keep doing the pump ride for 2 minutes, pump ride for 2 minutes technique until you can find a safe place away from the speeding trucks and darkness. All fixed one hour later, that wasnt too bad, youre good at this. There is someone in that window looking at me, why dont they ask if I need help? How far to Santiago? I shout through the window.
Im usually selective when I ask for info, it saves me asking 5 random people and still being confused. Truckers, mechanics, anyone with a machete and most definitely anyone on a horse. 10 year old girls are not on my list.
well………………………..on a bike?
Yes on a bike…
Like 2 hours..
OK, thanks, goodnight…
Now I am curious, my internal distance counter (I lost my real one) , tells me I’m close, 30 minutes, maybe 45 minutes away, lets find out. Big mouth full of sugar, it feels all sand like and then it gets good, real good. Shall I get some water? You can do it without . I believe I can. Batteries low so my flashlight is almost useless, sight diminishing, hearing and smell are amplified, Some kind of weird insect is making a noise just like that of an emergency siren. I wonder how many sounds as we know them have been taken from nature, not many I guess.
Why didn’t I just ask the weird waving girl if I could camp on her land? Why didnt I get water when I had the chance? Feet hurt, keep spinning. L o s t i n t h e p a i n, m u s c l e s s c r e a m, a d r e n a l i n e s h o u t s, s w e a t p o u r s. This is what you wanted, its all yours take it, you’ve earned it. You need this, its who you are, virtue through selfishness, and you love what comes next. wait for it……its almost here……Shoulders hurt, keep spinning. And then.
S w e a t s t o p s, p a i n e a s e s, t i m e m o v e s d i f f e r e n t l y. We made it, we are passed it, now in a trance, mind is no longer thinking, revolutions come easy, movement comes freely, I feel like I could ride all night, shall I ? Tomorrow I know I will have to pay for each spin, bones will ache, muscles will be sore, but what else is there to do?
Its just me and the road and a stillness through movement that brings peace.
The moon is a yellow haze when I finally see the bright lights of Santiago from above, the kid made a good estimation. I weave my way through the big city, streets dead, I wonder what time it is. I find the bomberos, not surprisingly the city people are less friendly
Can I camp here?
Here is the bathroom
You have camping stuff
I have everything
Put it where you like
After 6 raw eggs my head finally hits the floor at around 11 ish.
16 hours of biking and 240Km.
I am awoken at 4 am to sounds of people counting out loud. I can hear a circle, maybe a loose circle but I know a circle when I hear one. I wonder, star jumps, push ups, some kind of fire thing like how long can you hold a hot plate, I will never know as I was not about to move an inch to find out. I rest on my back as my legs are just too tender to put any weight on them. I have my first Spanish dream. I can hear the bomberos talking, its 4am, we need to start cleaning and polishing these already spotless vehicles, lets wake him up, take it easy man, give him another 40 mins.
need more time to heal,
6 hard days straight,
I know its bad when my feet hurt.
I start my day like any real junky.
Beast boys Intergalatic in my ears,
and 10 Km before breakfast.
they say life’s a
so I play hard,
biking for my life
Im scared of a day job….
Tags: 6am - addiction - binge - clouds and rain - corn field - delicious meat - friday night - gentleman - goodness - guard dog - half a day - hard time - mid day - paramedic - selfishness - stares - thermometer - tired legs - waving hand - young girl