Day 9 has been coming all week and I was excited for it. When I met Fernando at Total Bike a week ago I realized that the bike community here is supportive..I never thought it would be this great.
We started at 9 and met in front of Total Bike, which is about 4 blocks from CH's house and I unloaded my bike put the pedals on, adjusted the brakes, pumped up the tires, and had a lot of anxiety based on the insane drivers I had seen all week and coming close to a few fender benders as a passenger. I had some reservations. I met some of Fernando's mechanics and these guys are athletes with full on bike gear. They were the designated leaders of the ride and I realized i was in good hands. They were so cool in fact that one of them noticing CH's worry about me in this traffic took down one of their numbers. Well as more arrived I realized it would be a good size group and as more people showed our group became stronger.
As the group grew I realized a few things, I was the only person wearing non-bike attire and the ONLY one without a mountain bike or front suspension and on top of that the only one without gears. I thought I was in for a bumpy ride and turns out this was only partly true.
We traversed the entire city on one big loop, the smells, the road underneath, the occasional buraco (pothole) the size of a kitchen sink, the cars who didn't honk angrily (unlike LA), and loads of hills, park paths, and all sorts of people waving, smiling, looking confusedly at our group getting closer with this elegant, loving, and vast city. I fell in love last night. The city and the various terrain really held me.