Saturday, December 19, 2015
Miami and beyond...
Note to self:
Self, NEVER fly out of Miami again! Even though it worked out cheaper in the long run to rent a car in Boynton Beach and drive to Miami, it was still a nightmare. A shout out to Aunt Lee and Uncle Paul for their support.
I was working out the logistics of getting me and the bike to the train station, on the train, off the train, staying in a motel overnight, while finding a bike box, getting it to the motel, boxing the bike and getting us both to the airport in the AM. The car was a better option.
However, like many examples of our aging infrastructure, MIA simply cannot handle the volume of traffic it was originally designed for and just returning the rental car required a very advanced navigation system. Drive around the airport a few times experimenting with different lanes until finding the appropriate lane that leads to the "Rental Return" area. A subterranean parking structure right next to the bowels of hell. Their signage could be better. It would then be two and a half hours from the time I walked away from the car, jumped through the correct hoops, barked like a seal, shelled out lots of cash (I tried bribing the counter help with $50.00 cash to waive the 150.00 fee for the bike but she didn't go for it. We agreed it was a good try though) and played the TSA game before arriving at my gate.
BUT, I had the most amazing crew. We all chatted at the gate and after my tale of whoa of extortion at $150.00 for the privilege of flying with my bike, I received a mysterious upgrade to First Class. Had a lovely chat with my seat mate (also mysteriously upgraded after missing his connecting flight from Memphis). Both Tanque and I arrived at the airport in Cancun virtually unscathed. At one point my seat mate asked me if I ever felt some anxiety about what I was about to do etc. I told him if I thought about it too much, it could cause paralysis. Do the next indicated thing.
Found the bike, went through customs etc. I forgot that I had fruit in my bag and I felt like a schmuck when the gal pulled it out along with my very expensive organic chia seeds and tossed them.
I was supposed to meet a friend who was going to ride with me but she never materialized. It was getting late in the day, it had been raining hard and I stood around thinking about what to do next. Just take a cab to a hotel, get on a bus with the bike still in the box and put it together later, etc, etc. It's so much easier to procrastinate a few days and make excuses while lounging at the beach. No, just put it together and get out of the airport.
Had a hell of a time with putting air in the rear tire and rode 3-4 miles with extremely low pressure. But found a gas station and pumped them up. All the gas stations have attendants and he was such a nice guy. I think he was shocked to see a crazy old bag on a loaded touring bike. I gave him a nice tip.
Next: I was going to head straight out to Valladolid and avoid Cancun like the plague. It was late, the sun was setting, I was already headed toward Cancun and away from Valladolid. So, I headed straight into Cancun at rush hour. At least traffic goes pretty slow when it's backed up for a hundred miles. I will never complain about the roads in the US again. There had been torrential downpours and there was water everywhere, which hid the potholes, ruts, new curbs and sidewalks. I biffed it when I tried to jump what I thought was a 4 inch lip on a new sidewalk. It was more like six inches. My wheels got hung up and over I went. Right into a nasty, dirty puddle. It was awesome! Up I bounced and jumped on the bike. It was not a good place to stop and lick my bloody palm. Cycling in south Florida was good practice for my first foray onto the roads of Mexico.
Still can't believe it's real. This crazy dream is now
Posted by Where is she now?