Su casa es nuestra casa – Your house is my house.
We all know the famous Mexican saying ‘mis casa e su casa’, my house is your house, but at the Guadalajara Casa de Ciclista, you are given keys on arrival and made to feel immediately like it is indeed your house. It’s truly an incredible feeling when you have been on the road for a long time. We really do feel at home here. Arriving in a place where you can spread your gear out and relax amongst fellow cyclists and bike lovers, is a very special treat. And with space and tools to fix things! And boy oh boy, have we had some things to fix.
As you know, Falkor #1 had to be retired due to a massive crack that developed on the frame. When Brendon pulled it apart, a huge piece of the frame actually fell out! It was literally just held on by a few screws and we were pretty lucky to make it here without the whole bike falling apart underneath us. RIP Falkor #1.
The maker of the bike, Hase, arranged to send us a new frame and we spent a week with our eyes glued to the Fedex tracking website, refreshing every hour to get an update on the whereabouts of our new frame. It arrived last Friday, which also happened to be the day of our Casa Christmas party. Mexican Santa! You Totally rock!
We have spent the last 4 days working full-time re-building the new frame. Well, I say we, which is true, but Bren has been the one with the greasy hands. I have been the dutiful assistant providing snacks and sustenance throughout the rebuild, and of course, documenting every instant with photos and video. And dance moves.
Brendon is amazing. I mean, obviously. But the very idea of pulling a bike part and putting all the bits back onto a new frame is just crazy. Pretty overwhelming if you ask me. And he approached it with patience and grace. Which some of you won’t believe, but it’s true. I think even he is astounded. To see him tinkering away every day in the work-shop was awesome. He was in his element with all those tools and the giant Falkor puzzle. And he fixed it! He took off every part, every little screw and nut and cleaned them, and found the right place to put them all back on again. He even had to do some soldering of the wires for our lighting system, and of course, a bit more wheel truing to keep us on the straight and narrow. Just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more, he goes and builds us a new bike. Way to go Brendo!
Of course, there have been some other important players in this rebuild too. Jorge and Bernado (“BERNADO!”) from the Casa have given us hours of their time and without their expertise, patience and positivity, this would have been a very difficult time for us. We can’t thank them enough.
There has been a lot of tinkering going on in the casa workshop and the other excellent bike tourers that we have met here have all added their mark to Falkor #2. There have been endless tours through the city to the many bike shops. We could’ve opened an account at most of them! But there has been a lot of great times and amazing connections too.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Meeting all the inspirational people from and through the Casa, and the many projects they all manage and get involved with. From painting their own bike lanes, the ‘Ghost bike’ monuments, publishing the magazine and the many rides they arrange through the city. Its awe inspiring to see how strong the power of bicycles is in the hands of this focused crew. We totally love your work! Check out these links to just some of the projects they are involved with;
- Going on the monthly Guadalajara night ride with 1000 local cyclists (even though Falkor was lame and we went on separate bikes)
- Meeting so many wonderful mates on their own cycle tours including case friends Alicia, Carmen, Pedro, Urs, Sean, Brendan#2 & Jared.
- Catching up with the Aussie cyclists ‘Branjo’. We love their company and hope to spend more time together at Chrissie with some days coming up on the road cycling together.
- Hanging with Kevin the Irish-man, hearing his travel tales and getting to hear his original songs at his live performance.
-Meeting up again with Vanessa & Jorge the Spaniards we met on our first day in Mexico.
- Christmas at the Casa. It’s not always easy to celebrate Chrissie on the road, so we decided that while there were so many of us all together, we would celebrate early, complete with Secret and Bad Santa gifts! And even a cactus Christmas tree complete with flashing bike lights and dunny roll for tinsel. Everyone got involved with cooking and preparing special Chrissie treats and it was a bloody good night enjoyed by all. Thank you Casa Family!
- Going to the Mexican wrestling “Lucha Libre”. That was a ridiculous amount of fun and we highly recommend that you go if you ever get the chance.
So yes, 2 action packed weeks at the casa and finally, we are ready to leave tomorrow. With mixed feelings. The friends we have made here will definitely make it hard for us to go. But you will all certainly always remain in our memories and hearts. Alas, the road calls us and we have to get our mission on! We didn’t fix this bike for nothing! In exactly 1 week, we will be meeting Kiki in Ixtapa, about 700km south of here. Let’s hope the hills are kind to us and Falkor #2!
We will spend the best part of 2 weeks chilling down there and planning our next move. With all the food and good times we have consumed in the last 2 weeks, the next weeks riding is sure to be difficult. And surely after Christmas, it is gonna take us a while to get our cycle fitness back up to par. But we feel certain that the volcanic highlands of Mexico will get us back into shape in no time.
Feliz Navidad & feliz año Nuevo!
Happy holidays everyone! Here are some random pics from our time in GDL. Enjoy!