End of the Line on the Via RecreActiva
In a couple of miles we met up with another orange person named John Restrepo - the other Colombian. We must have arrived at the outer edge of Lucy’s beat because after introducing me she turned back the other way, while I continued on in the same direction, now accompanied by John. Here’s Lucy checking in with headquarters before heading back.
Though I wasn’t really paying attention to all this radio talk, I wondered vaguely about the rather frequent use of the word cachucha, which means cap. And speaking of lids, John’s helmet was the second I saw that day on the bike route; in fact it was the second one I saw that whole week in Mexico. People aren’t going to invest in a helmet for the occasional Sunday ride, especially when the riding area is cleared of the major cause of accidents, namely cars. I didn’t mind a bit, as I adore riding without a helmet, an indulgence I don’t allow myself at home. It feels daring and free – the equivalent of riding in the nude only without the problems nude bicycle riding would engender in real life.
In addition to daring and free, however, I felt dogged by the relentless sunshine, which my poor little Oregon eyes aren’t accustomed to; and after an hour of it beating down on my head and intruding in over the tops of my sunglasses, it was beginning to seriously wear on me. You can spot an Oregonian around the world because they squint like newborn hamsters at the slightest ray of gold. Though I made no complaint, these gracious hosts must have discerned my discomfort, because suddenly one of the younger orange people, a volunteer from the university, pedaled up behind us exclaiming some equivalent of “At last I’ve found you!” and handed me – are you ready for this? -- an orange ViaRecreActiva cap! So that’s why I kept hearing that word over the radio! Lucy had been trying to organize the logistics of this hat delivery since way back at the beginning. And it saved my day, because I think without it I might have been a heatstroke case.
(As an Oregonian I’m particularly susceptible. I think the fact that I slathered myself with sunscreen beforehand probably also helped. I used the most high-powered variety because I borrowed it from Lindi who is practically an albino. I never used to need sunscreen, but now that we’ve ruined the ozone layer and skin cancer is turning up everywhere, I feel I must be paranoid.)
John and I proceeded till the end of the line, then turned around and headed back to a starting point, where he and Lucy presented me with a ViaRecreActiva T-shirt!
Here’s a picture taken toward the far end of the ride, where the crowd starts to thin out a bit. These photos are too dark. I’ll edit them and add a couple more photos later.