Belize Photography transportation travel

A Tale of Two Bikes

Locking our bikes up for the last time before handing the lock key over to the new owners.
Locking our bikes up for the last time before handing the lock key over to the new owners.

Today was a bitter sweet day. After 4 months of faithful service we locked our bikes up for the final time. The new owners work in the kitchen at the Palapa Bar and Grill. A big thank you goes out to Ivan for facilitating the transfer.

For anyone planning on spending more than 3 weeks on Ambergris Caye, and you are physically able to ride, there is no better solution to transportation then going to one of the hardware stores and purchasing your own bike. With a bell, basket and lock you will probably spend just over $200BZ ($100US) per bike. The rental rates we found were $40US per week, so after 3 weeks you are on the plus side. In addition there is no toll for bikes when you cross over the toll bridge at the north end of San Pedro. The biggest benefit I noticed, which anyone who rides anyway already knows, is that your interaction with the environment around you is heightened to an amazing level.

Proud owners. Make sure you buy a lock to.
Proud owners. Make sure you buy a lock too.

From the time we first started riding everywhere we noticed things that others, racing by in their golf carts simply could not hear or take the time to notice. This is not to say there are not times when I didn’t envy cart owners and was happy to be offered a ride to more distant destinations or for late night outings. But overall, the daily trips into town for groceries or to run other errands were very enjoyable when done on a bike, or even just walking. The health benefits were also wonderful. You just feel better when you go for a ride.

Our first big ride on our new bikes.
Our first big ride on our new bikes.

The ability to go explore the farther reaches of the island was wonderful. Whether it was going north up the coastline to enjoy the views or visiting bars it was always fun. Even if you got caught in a short rain storm. It is only water after all and you dry quickly.

Enjoying a break on one of our many bike trips.
Enjoying a break on one of our many bike trips.

Another serendipity I noticed was the locals seemed a bit more friendly if you were on a bike. A couple of times when I was having problems with the chain bouncing off the rear sprocket I had locals stop and absolutely insist on helping me. The second fellow flipped the bike upside down, got out an adjustable wrench and adjusted the wheel right there on the side of the road. Fixing the problem permanently. It was awesome.

4 months of riding and this is a normal amount of rusting.
4 months of riding and this is a normal amount of rusting.

Something you must be prepared for is the rate of rusting that occurs here. The chains and kick stands were rusted in weeks. For the basket we had to get a piece of cardboard from the grocery store to put in the bottom because it had rusted right out in less than 3 months.

Careful what you put in the basket. Bottom rusted out in just over two months.
Careful what you put in the basket. Bottom rusted out in just over two months.

As our time in Belize comes to an end I have to say one of our best decisions was purchasing our two bikes. Environmentally friendly, cost efficient, good exercise, and just fun. They are the way to go on island time. As well, handing them off to new owners at the Palapa Bar just felt right. This will certainly be an option we investigate as we visit new countries in our travels.

Somehow it was appropriate that the last ride was to the Palapa Bar.
Somehow it was appropriate that the last ride was to the Palapa Bar.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

8 comments on “A Tale of Two Bikes

  1. I am enjoying your adventures Karen and Peter…….. is your next adventure another part of the world? Still snow in Calgary……

  2. Oh Ambergris Caye! I did rent bikes as well, I remember how hard it was cycling on the sandy area :)) Nice story, it makes me want to return this beautiful island!

  3. Janet C.

    It seems almost sad. Like leaving a good friend behind.
    I’m looking forward to the next chapter in this adventure!

  4. We love the story you two. How long is the next venture in Costa Rica?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: