Isang's Blog/

{January 29, 2010}   Lost and Found

While I had planned on posting soon after last Sunday’s adventure, my time was spent more on planning for a new routine here in Guanajuato. I’ve decided to discontinue studying Spanish at Escuela Mexicana to increase my time at Buen Pastor with the girls and with the locals. Of course, Escuela Mexicana was amazing for bringing me up to speed on Basic Spanish. But I plateaued my last few days there, finding myself wanting to be more out in the city than in a classroom environment. I have to admit that I’ve been learning more Spanish from TV and con mi amigos on the bike team;). So, now with a new routine set up, I can finally relax on the hostal terrace and bring myself up to date.

Last Sunday was about 9 hour ride! It started off at 8 and ended around late 5 o’clock. I’ve grown to expect this length of time for Sunday adventures. I’ve also grown to expect amazing burritos at a pit stop. A few things I’ve learned to do so far on the road:

1. Carry more than one water bottle, and bring potassium sources for the long uphill treks.

2. When you hear a car from behind and you’re in the back, yell “¡Fierro!” = equivalent to describing an Iron thing coming your way 😉 It’s a team thing to do so the more fit cyclists in front of you don’t get creamed by Mexican drivers (they don’t always mind the rules of the road… it’s a cultural thing I understand, moving without concern of personal space).

3. Remember Dora in Finding Nemo who sang with Nemo’s Father “Just Keep Swimming”. Ok…on long uphill treks where there is no end in sight, just change the word Swimming to Biking. It works wonders during mental games.

4. It’s acceptable to pull over and admire the view. It’s also acceptable that if you see a Donkey, you can take a break from your bike and let the Donkey do the work!

5. Never underestimate the power of your body. I was on another long uphill trek and my legs and lungs were on fire. While it didn’t seem smart at first, I just let my mind go blank and my legs relax. Pretty much just stopped fighting with my limitations and let my body do the work. Turns out I still made it up the hill at the same pace even while relaxed and numb in the mind. ¡Que Bueno!

Having those lessons under the belt got me through half the ride quite well. Of course, if you are wondering why I titled this post as “Lost and Found”, it’s because the theme for the ride was in fact Lost and Found. All 12 of us got lost in the woods (found this out by almost cycling over the end of the ‘path’ into a deep ravine). Almost all of us lost our balance trying to navigate through unmarked terrain. A few of us lost our marbles after getting hit so many times by branches in the face. And ultimately I lost most of my energy trying to carry my bike on my shoulders as we hiked up a steep slope searching for clues of human activity. By the time we made it back to civilization (aka: burro trails), I could barely start pedaling save for using my feet to scoot me along.

Then of course is the Found part. After 2 hours we did eventually find our way to marked territory. I found the thrill of standing up on the bike as we zoomed down a long paved stretch of hill (try it with no hands! That’s a King of the World moment right there). We found a local tienda on the bottom con leche y naranjas, and took our time recuperating from the hard task of being lost in the woods. And with the sun going low behind the hills,  the most fabulous view of a lake bathed by sunset colors was found as we slowly rode down the mountain side. The beauty made us all stop and just stare for sometime. I swear after riding for that long you deserve to just stop and gawk at what you’re doing. This bike team has the most fabulous area to train in. I can only smile knowing Guanajuato is a lucky find for Biking Adventures.

I can feel my body slowly adjusting to this training regimen. This past week I experienced fatigue. Looking over my nutrition looks like I’ll have to go scouting again for nutrient sources. Broccoli and carrots have joined the list. Being I’m no longer in school I have more time to go over my plate (plato) entrees. We’re in the mountains again on Sunday, and I’ll be adding Wednesdays as well.

Right now I’m writing on top of the terrace at the hostal, watching a sunset in the making. There is one house on the top of the hill which is painted with a hot pink color that is standing out more with the suns glow. It’s the type of house that Barbie would love to occupy. Wonder how that type of color would fare off in a place like NYC :P. I wish those colors were everywhere in the world. It just makes things so cheery.

Going to enjoy some Mexican Hot Chocolate before Spinning Class. Gives me more energy ;).

Colin says:

‘I’ see the ‘King of the World’ experience so clearly… ‘I’ remember those moments when ‘I’ rode a lot. … City of Angels.

Thank ‘You’!

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