We generally take our longest bike ride of the week on Sunday morning. The streets are less busy and the vibe of the city is just more relaxed since so many people have off work. Yesterday was no different, and the ride started out very good on a sunny, warm, breezy morning.
We so enjoy riding on this beautiful bike path into Xcaret park and did two out-and-backs on it before heading back into the centro area of Playa del Carmen.
The yellow flowers have been especially resplendent this week.
And I saw several gorgeous Blue Morpho butterflies along the path. Excuse the blurriness, but I took this photo while riding as she flew along beside me. I hope to get a better photo one of these days!
After a quick stop at Chedraui, a large department and grocery store, and dropping our purchases back at the rental, we rode over to the northern part of "Fifth Avenue". In the Centro area, this is the main tourist street, closed to vehicles and littered with shops, money exchangers, shoppers, vendors, and fashionable, pricey restaurants. So we typically avoid that part of the Avenida Quinta.
The northern end, however, is much quieter, flanked by local residences and businesses on the west side and large luxury resorts on the sea side. The cobblestone road is narrow and has a lovely bike path running alongside it. Also along the west side buildings and walls, there are lots of colorful and intriguing graffiti art murals. I showed some photos from there in this earlier blog post.
We were enjoying our pleasant ride, when all of a sudden, a very loud BANG exploded in our ears. My immediate thought was that it could be a gunshot, but Barry knew exactly what it was; his rear tire had blown out in an epic manner!
What a bummer. There are no bike shops in this part of town, so he'd be hoofing it back the two miles or so to our rental in the hot sunshine, pushing his bike along. I felt so bad for him.
I did, however, take advantage of the extra time as I rolled slowly along the path, to take a few more graffiti art photos. I just love these!
And this gorgeous clump of bougainvillea....
In the meantime, Barry wheeled his bike on and on. Poor guy!
When he arrived at our rental, he was amazed to see the state of his tire. It was literally shredded all over, not only in one place, as we expected. He had pumped it up before the ride, and with the pump not having a gauge, probably over-inflated it. Still, neither one of us had ever seen anything like the condition this tire was in.
I wish I'd gotten a better photo before the bike shop guys discarded it. In the dappled sunshine, it is really hard to see the damage, but right above my thumb is one of many areas that were completely shredded through the entire tire.
Fortunately the bike shop where we purchased our cruiser bikes is only a short walk away, and they weren't busy, so Barry was able to get a new tire and tube installed quickly. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer; there's no way to know how old their stock might be.
We also bought bike bells as we both nearly crashed head-on into a guy riding in our lane of the bike path near Xcaret around a blind curve yesterday. We'll be ringing 'em as we pedal through curves from now on!
We ended the day on a good note: a delicious "vegetariana" pizza from a close-by local place, Nino's. We only paid 120 pesos (around $9 US) for this large beauty. It was delicious!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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