Sunday, December 21, 2008

Exploring the City on Two Wheels: Ride 1 & 2

It's been about 6 months since I've had a car. In Buenos Aires there's really no need for one. Mass transit blankets the city well. Between the subway, buses and taxis you can get anywhere you need to go, and you can do it for minimal cost. While I've been enjoying the absence of a car, and all of the responsibilities and cost that go with it, what I have been missing is my bike. After 5 months of storage I finally got a hold of it a couple of weeks ago.

Pedals have been my favorite means of transportation since the first time I biked to school by myself when I was 8 years old. That metallic red dirt bike I had back then granted me my first tastes of freedom. With it I was able to escape the boundaries of my childhood home and the cornfields that surrounded it. Its fat knobby tires allowed me to be off on my own exploring long before I ever had my driver's license and was able to embark on road trips. And best of all it didn't cost me a dime.

Sure, in the beginning I could only go a mile or two before I ran out of juice. One of the great things about being a little kid though is that you don't stay little for long. As my legs grew so did my radius of exploration. Eventually I was able to commandeer my older sister's sky blue 10-speed Peugot which meant not only could I escape my neighborhood, but I could escape the entire town if I wanted too as well. It was my choice. Out on the road my mind was left to wonder, regulated only by the headwind that confronted me or the tailwind that followed.

As time has passed a bike has not only remained a way for me to find some peace and/or escape a city, it has also been one of the greatest ways to see, hear and breathe one. Buenos Aires is a huge metropolis, by far the largest city I've ever put the wheels down in. The idea of leaving it on a bike is an endeavor in itself. So rather than trying to escape and find some exploratory peace outside the city, my first few rides thus far have focused on escaping and exploring within it. Since there's so much of it I haven't seen, it doesn't take long for me to get to somewhere I've never been.

Ride 1: To the boardwalk along the Rio de la Plata and Jorge Newbery Airport

pedestrian overpass | a thousand poles and no fish

broccoli boardwalk | solo fisherman

curved river pier | three-wheeled hydration man

Ride 2: Puerto Madero and back

look up | no gas needed

x-ray vision | next to laguna de los coipos

bad-ass old iron street sign | calatrava bridge

puerto madero boardwalk | retired shipping cranes on the port

el congresso

Currently Reading:
street names, and getting lost (on purpose)

Currently Listening To:
Song: Paint a Face
Artist: Neil Halstead

Odd Fact of the Day:
South of the equator, today is the first day of summer and longest day of the year. It is also the second time we're celebrating those things this year.
The first was in Harlem, back in June.

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