Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 9, 2011

I was in Baños, Ecuador, with a group of friends that I had met there.  We planned on taking a 22 km bike ride to the threshold of the Amazon rainforest.  On the way, we were to see natural waterfalls amongst the hills and mountains near Tungurahua Volcano.  We were about 100 meters out of town, on rented bikes, when, suddenly, my chain popped off the gear and lodged itself in between the gear and the frame.  The bike locked up and stopped.  I kept going.  I slid safely into home plate, which is to say slid for about 8 feet on the concrete.  My knee was immediately bleeding bad, and the tire melted my polyester pants.  As expected, my hands and elbows received ample scrapes as well.  I hobbled, as much as is possible on a bike, to catch up with my crew, who had in the meantime made a few hundred meters progress.  I finally caught up to them, as I passed from the darkness of a tunnel into the light.  The mystery of my having gone missing slowly came to light, literally, as I departed from the darkness.  My crew was empathetic, yet we all decided to go on, and had a lovely time swimming and sipping on Pilsener and sangria out of a box. 

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