A quick break from posts about heroism to talk about what a weird day this has been. It’s one of those days where I accomplished a lot, but only because a lot went wrong.
I’ve been experiencing some knee pain lately, a scary thing on a bicycle. It came to a head as I rolled into Coatzalcoalcos, Veracruz. Longtime readers will know something similar happened on the ride down the Mississippi, and that time I ditched some gear and adjusted my seat. I decided to do the same thing this time.
I carry a lot of weight on the bicycle, and a big chunk of it is camping gear. But I haven’t camped out even once on this trip. So why am I hauling it around? My knees pump that extra weight on every pedal stroke, up every hill.
But I can’t just throw away the gear. It’s a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and I’d like to have it for the future. So I decided to send it someone for safekeeping. The problem was where to send it.
If I sent it to the US, I wouldn’t have access to any of it after reaching the Yucatán. But I don’t know anyone in Yucatán to hold onto it for me, and if I send it care of Lista de Correos (General Delivery), they’ll throw it out in two weeks—probably before I arrive there to claim it. And all of these options suffer from the fatal flaw of Mexico’s postal system: a bad habit of making valuable-looking packages disappear.
So today was a Problem Solving Rollercoaster. I had to find a box (hint: don’t go to any of the places that people assure you will sell boxes), make my stuff fit into it, locate a post office, and figure out where all this was going. Ultimately I decided on just sending it stateside, which means I had to choose very carefully which items I’ll need for the duration of my stay in Mexico.
All this nonsense was oddly satisfying. I started the day tense and uncertain then solved my problems one by one. And I had to wander around town to figure this stuff out, meeting more people and speaking more Spanish than I have in the past three days of regular biking.
All in all, a good day. And one that illustrates that real-life adventure has at least one thing in common with fantasy adventure:
Inventory management sucks.