On The Bumpy Road To San Pedro Town

This morning we had a hearty breakfast, then decided to borrow some bicycles from our resort and pedal the five miles south to San Pedro.  Our bikes were of the old-fashioned, balloon-tired, single-gear, pedal brake variety, with a top seated cruising speed of about 5 mph.  (Standing, you might get it up to about 10 mph, and give your keister a respite, besides.)

The design of the bikes turned out to be welcome for two reasons.  First, there’s lots of interesting things to see on any tropical roadway, and if you zip by too quickly you’ll miss some of it.  Second, the road was unabashedly rustic in spots, and too much speed would do nothing but produced bruised kidneys and sore wrists.  Slow moving, wide-tired bikes that could navigate between the potholes were the preferred mode of transportation — better than small cars, golf carts, or even motor scooters.


On our ten-mile round trip we learned that Minnesota is not only the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but also a brand to be reckoned with in the dentistry field in Belize.  We rolled past condos under construction and dive bars on the beachfront, learned that bikes aren’t subject to the apparently occasional toll charged to cross the bridge north of town,  were mystified by the exchange rate between Belizean and U.S. dollars, and for refreshment bought warm fresh water delivered in a sealed plastic bag.  All were part of the many charms of the bumpy road to San Pedro town.

A Caliente Limerick

For about 20 years now, I have owned a Schwinn Caliente.

I’m not sure how old it is, because I bought it used, but it has been a tremendous bike.  It was cheap, it’s easy to operate for a recreational cyclist like me, and it’s durable — at least, it is if others don’t ride it.  However, at least once a year somebody borrows it and blows out a tire.  Of course, they don’t say anything about it — they just get the bike back to the garage and then slink away, leaving me to discover the problem the next time I want to take a ride.

It was beautiful here on Sunday, with the temperature reaching the 80s.  Conditions were perfect for a bike ride.  With growing anticipation I rolled the Caliente out of the garage, hopped on the seat . . . and discovered that the rear tire was flat as a pancake.  Arrgh!  I pumped it up, and it promptly deflated again. My hopes for a pleasant ride on a fine spring day were dashed.  The disappointment was such that I felt moved to pen a non-dirty limerick about the experience:

There once was a bike made by Schwinn

I sat on her seat with a grin

But my plans all went splat

‘Cause her tire was flat

And I couldn’t take her out for a spin.

For the record, writing bad poetry can help to ease the pain of a missed biking opportunity.