The morning's cheating on my bike trek: taking the ferry from Ilha
Grande to Angra Dos Reis instead of back to Mangaratiba gets me 48 km
farther down the coast. Hopefully, this'll keep me from bragging
about biking from Rio to Sao Paulo:)
My bike's shitty condition may also have the same effect. I got it used and have put well over 500 miles on it. No biggie in and off itself, but I notice on the ferry that the rear shock's been so used that the screw attaching it to the top of the bike is actually bending a small circle on the frame out, slowly but surely breaking off. If it breaks all the way free, one overly ambitious traveler is stuck on the bus for the rest of his trip. Looking closer, I see my damn rear wheel's so bent it's hitting the brakes with every rotation. I go to tighten the spokes to find one snapped at the axle; for those who don't know anything about bikes, suffice it to say this is bad. I spend quite awhile bending it with my Leatherman multitool and forcing the improvisation on, but it seems to be holding. With something like 200 miles to ride before I'll be back in the U.S., this isn't exactly the condition I'd like my bike to be in...
The ferry doesn't get to Angra until after noon and I've got 97 km between cities to cover by dark, so I'm in a bit of a rush to get going. Within a few dozen miles of Angra, my lower back's aching. I start to think about how 2 bags full of shit is just too much weight and contemplate bitching out and onto a bus, but inspiration strikes: what if I put my smaller bag on my chest?
I crank out a few more miles and then pull over to try it. Sweet: no more back pain. The front bookbag's straps tightened all the way, it hits my knees at the heights of their rotations just enough to be annoying and occasionally bumps into my neck, but this is vastly better than painful pressure was. I look like a maniac and it's a little too warm, but I happily deal because it lets me keep riding.
After many more hills than I'd like, I make it to Paraty before dark. Pousada hunting takes much longer than I'd like; by the time I'm off the bike at 66.8 miles, I've ridden more than a metric century (= 100 km). I "splurge" on a dinner (meaning it's between $10 and $20 USD) that I'm falling asleep at the table after, wander the town, feed my internet addiction, and feel like my midnight bedtime is a few hours too late.