Thursday, May 7, 2009

This sucks!

Today has been a rough day to say the least.

I've been seriously depressed today. Why? Because today I dropped Caesar off at the bike shop. From there the guys at Cycle Sport in Oakland are going to box up the bike and ship it off to Jeff...the real owner.

For those of you who don't know...here is the story of the best bike in the world. A bike that laughs at Costa Rican jungle covered mountains...a bike that could run over any Honduran pothole no matter how toothy...a bike that could take any beating and push on threw.

I got to Panama 2 weeks before the ride started because I needed to do a few things, including getting a bike. I got to Panama on January 2nd. The first 10 days I ran all over the city looking for a perfect option for the 5,000 kilometer ride. Luckily, Panama had a few shops. Using my broke Spanish I was finally able to get an option that looked good.

I found a bike shop called Riley in Panama City's downtown area. The guys at the shop recommended me a cool looking Specialized mountain bike. They even had all the accessories like top of the line tires, helmets, biker shorts...everything. So, about 1 week before I was set to take off on this wild adventure I told the guys at Riley to hold the bike for one day. My pan was to sleep on it for the night and pick it up the next morning.

There were already a few issues. One, I needed to get a set of pannier bags. On top of that I had to get a front and rear rack. I did some research and I found the racks in Santa Barbara and the bags in Canada. So...I was going to pick up the bike at Riley's and have the rest of the gear expressed to Panama. It was turning in a nightmare but by this time there was no going back.

So the night before I was supposed to get the bike from Riley's this guy Jeff, from the East Coast of the US with a set of red dreads down to his butt, walks in with this cool looking green bike. I was obviously anxious to talk to the guy because I wanted to pick his brain about anything and everything bike related. After all...at this point I've never attempted anything like this. So...over a bowl of spaghetti and after a few beers I got the goods on Jeff and his story.

Jeff, an outdoor adventure guy full of life, was riding his bike from Nicaragua to Panama. From there he was set to go to Colombia to do some volunteer work. After telling him my story and after a few of Panamas finest brews we came to the conclusion that we would make a trade. I'd give Jeff my backpack and a bit of money and Jeff would give me his bike in return. But, because this bike was Jeff's baby he wanted it back at some point.

That next morning Jeff was walking out the door of the hostel off on an adventure in Colombia and I was giving my new set of wheels a once over. Before Jeff took off he said, "this bike has good energy, it will get you home." Then he pointed to the Reggae sticker slapped across one of the bars and said, "and oh ya...One Love baby." Seriously with that he was off.

So here I am. Riding BART to my buddie Reggie's house to have dinner and to do a bit of catch up. He lives in Dublin and riding BART to his place has given me a needed second to do a bit of reflecting. I'm thinking a lot about the trip and a lot about Ceasar these days. Seriously that bike was bad ass. It could really take a beating and it got me back home in one piece.

Jumping back on Ceasar was strange because it felt so familiar but the landscape around was so different. On my way to the shop I started to have flashbacks from the trip. I could remember the first time I got ran off the road in Costa Rica, or I could visualize perfectly when I brought the bike to the Plan sponsored community in Guatemala. The kids there loved to play with the bike bell or they were so intrigued by the skinny ties.

The day was a bit depressing. But, I guess its important to realize that this is a time of change and its even more important to look to the next day a to look towards the next adventure.

Peace, Power and Pedal

Aaron

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

2 comments:

Michael T said...

Aaron! The moment! You were in the moment more often than not during your ride. You were present, and aware of what was going on around you. You listened to your heart, you followed it and it took you home safely. Ceasar came to you because you needed him. He's going back to Jeff, because he needs him now. Easy come. Easy go. Now it is back to the moment! what is your heart telling you to do now? dont stop listening, you are leading by example whether you know it or not.
MT

Baker said...

I'm not one to tell you "I told you so", but I told you so. Now you have Michael T consoling you in his cumbaya jibberish. So with that I will tell you this, Trevor is in New Mexico, kid was pretty cool you could probably catch him.

Bake