Tuesday, February 24, 2009
As many cyclists already know, the city of Portland in the state of Oregon, is the bike friendly city. Hit the link below and read the latest news in Buenos Aires so as to emulate the Portland experience.
Posted by WALTER, THE FAMOUS ARGENTINIAN MACKEM at 12:58 PM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I was thrilled to bits when finding on youtube a hometown comrade riding his bike to Rio Cuarto, Cordoba.
This guys hit the road last year travelling 689 km and calling at 22 towns. He set off from Moreno, my hometown, towards Rio Cuarto in the province of Cordoba.
His adventures are brought to you in three sketches. Enjoy.
Posted by WALTER, THE FAMOUS ARGENTINIAN MACKEM at 7:17 PM
As browsing for some info on bikes in Buenos Aires (the info avaiable on google is scarce and out of date) i found a survey carried out by a national argentinian newspaper asking the following question: Would you commute by bike? To the delight of bike fans, the survey showed that 46% of the people gave it the thumbs up. People want to commute by bike in Buenos Aires, it's a fact.
But beyond people's preference, I guess we should go deeper no only in the figures and statistics but into the comments posted by the readers. While reading you find complains about the traffic, careless bus drivers and so on. Many people claimed they would ride their bikes to work but they don't feel safe with in such a madding city as Buenos Aires.
Whereas some complained about safety facts, many others took up biking as their prefered means of transportation when it comes to commuting. Reasons: less time waiting for a bus, no parking fares, healthy and faster, especially at downtown.
Posted by WALTER, THE FAMOUS ARGENTINIAN MACKEM at 5:40 PM
Sunday, February 8, 2009
It's been a long time since I last dropped a comment on the blog. The main reason is that I had been on holidays for a couple of weeks so i didn't post regularly.
Last Saturday, I decided to ride my bike leaving for a new and promising adventure.
Woke up early in the morning and hit the road for San Andres de Giles, a small town located 103 km away from Capital Federal.
It was advisable to leave home early because of the traffic as that way I'd avoid big lorries on my way. Actually, I was not to avoid them at all further on my way..
It was a sunny and windy morning but a hot day as the clock ticked. I really enjoyed riding along the road hearing the birds sing, admiring fields of pure green as I rode away.
I finally reached the city of Lujan after 1h and 20m improving my previous record from 2007. That ride had taken me 1h 45m.
My watched struck 09.20 and the weather was getting hotter and hotter. At roughly 10.30, the first event of note took place. I was riding along the trunk road as there was not any service road when I suddenly heard the sound of an apparently gigantic lorry.
I didn't care much about it but that taught me a lesson for my bike trips. The driver honked his horn for me to move aside onto the hard shoulder. As I didn't do so, I felt the powerful wind of a lorry that had gone past like a rocket. It was an hour after that that my bike and me were on the main road for San Andres de Giles. The last stretch of my trip was kinda endless. Why? Because i was tired, hungry and disoriented as there were no signs by the road telling me how far San Andres was. I was compelled to ask locals (most of them in berets and espradilles) how far San Andres de Giles was. The roadside is tree less on the road 41 but when I finally found a grove, I stopped to restore my lost vitality. I rested for fifteen minutes still wondering how long I had to pedal. After my deserved rest ( I had been pedalling for 4 hours non stop) I drove past a motorcyclist and a motorist who waved me past. Silly as it may seems, it was an extra motivation to reach my final destination. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a large sign by the road welcoming visitors to San Andres de Giles. I clenched my fist as if congratulating myself for the accomplished task. The feeling of making it to the finishing line or your goal on your trip is something that cannot be put into words. You have to experience it by yourself. You won't believe me that I felt the happiest man on earth by then..
It was around 13.30 when my belly began moaning for a deserved lunch. I went to a small kiosk serving hamburgers to have my lunch break. As i gobbled my hamburger with cheese and jam I devoted my time to explore the life style of the residents in that nice town. People seem to know each other, they don't lead as hectic lives as we do, they are more relaxed than we are, they don't seem to be distrustful as we are and above all, they are respecful and hospitable. The adjective hospitable will be useful to describe a future episode in this account. After lunch, i drove around the high street as it were, taking snaps at houses or whatever that drew my attention. I bumped some old and forlorn silos just a few locks away from the centre of the town. It is disheartening to think the town had made his name on the trade of grain and now that was burried in the past and in the memory of the people who have worked there in the golden era of the town. This is obviously a consequence of the plunder polices put into practice by the ones who wanted us to believe that giving away the railways was the solution to be in the black with the ruling financial organizations. Those cunts sank not only the industries of San Andres de Giles but also the industries of lots of towns across and along the country. Along with the industries faded the hopes and identities of the peoples.
After the nostalgia for San Andres de Giles, I took to the road again to return home saying farewell to that great town I was leaving behind.I had pedalled for less than 10 km when the unexpected happened.
As I was coming closer to a grove i heard the typical hissing when you get a puncture. Yes, unfortunately I had got a flat; a flat at 20 km away from the nearest city, Mercedes.
At first, I kept calm as I was carrying a repair kit with me, so at once I put the bike upside down to repair that horrendous and mysterious hissing. I had taken my patching tubes along with the glue. I glued the hole with a patch, inflated the tube in the hope of having fixed the flat when i heard the hissing again. I followed the same previous step when i suddenly spotted the valve had been seriously damaged. My heart stopped beating. I had not a spare tube and that was the only thing that would have solved my problem. I began considering different plans: actually, I had two choices: 1- walk twenty km with the bike by my side or 2- hitch hike. I picked up the first as i thought hitch-hiking at drivers driving at 200 km per hour was a mere waste of time.
I had walked for fifteen minutes when i found a house by the road. I clasped my hands just to wake up the sleeping dog of the house. Not only did I ask the girl for a bottle of fresh water but also for advice.
While drinking water I asked her how I could make it to Mercedes. She claimed the best choice was to hich-hike but i had to be clever when waving the drivers as the drivers prone to stop where the ones living in the area. After the girl's suggestion, I resumed the walking. I had walked for half an hour when i turned around just to spot the the most wanted thing at that time: a helping hand. I saw a Ford pick-up, vintage 1980's, coming closer and closer. I waved at the driver in a desperate and hopeful way at the same time. To my utter surprise, the driver came to a halt and offered himself to give me a lift to the nearest town, taht is Mercedes. That had made my day indeed. Nobody couldn't have written a better ending to my adventure.Nobody but that man..
Posted by WALTER, THE FAMOUS ARGENTINIAN MACKEM at 4:46 AM