Adventures in Monterrey

I was in Monterrey, Mexico for a week last week for several reasons, firstly to accompany a friend of mine who was getting surgery done and did not want to travel down alone; secondly to get my visa renewed when return to the US and thirdly to see and experience a new place by bicycle.

I took my road bike down on the bus in a bike bag without any issues and upon arrival we needed to change US $ into Mexican pesos, but there was no money exchange place to be seen, so I told my friend to wait inside with all the bags and I swiftly put the bike back together and went out riding on the chaotic Monterrey streets in search of a money exchange place. Found one pretty quickly and we then got into a cab to get to our final destination where we were staying with a 83 year old lady as our host. She was quite a character and still drives her own car and toots the horn at crazy drivers or when she is changing lanes.

My first training ride in Monterrey was on the 2nd day and it lasted only for 30 minutes since I sliced my tire right down to the tube. While leaning on my bike, eating a USANA peanut butter choc crunch bar and trying to figure out a solution, I decided to use the USANA wrapper in between the new tube and tire. This was brilliant, however I still needed to pump up the tire and the gas cartridge I had did not latch properly onto the valve so I lost a bunch of air and had none left to fully pump up the tire hard. Got back home and got the mini-pump and pumped up the tire. It stayed hard and I continued riding on this tire for the rest of my Monterrey trip without any further mishaps!

Riding in the city of Monterrey is not for the faint hearted. There is traffic all over the place, it is like playing dodgem cars for a fair portion of the time and the main sources of danger comes from the buses and the cab drivers. You need to take control and use gestures, eye-contact and confident riding to get around. Sometimes its safer to sprint, merge behind traffic and go with the flow rather than hugging the far right in the hope that nothing will push you off the road. I was continually checking in all directions and had a few close calls. Most of the drivers were friendly and polite when you waved at them. They would respond positively and a number of them slowed down to give way to me.