Eaten Up By Grenada
I’ve been riding a road bike for about ten years now, but it wasn’t until moving to Grenada that I’ve totally felt eaten up by the road and related conditions.
Yeah, I’ve cycled in many different parts of the world and experienced a few issues along the way. But here in Grenada, my bike, my riding, and myself have all been chewed up and spit out….but I continue to ride.
Think about the most bumpy, torn up road that you’ve ever taken your road bike on. You know how every time your tires rolled over a rough section, you thought your bike was going to crack? Well, that is one of the better roads over here in Grenada. Caribbean roads are definitely not known for their smoothness, and even the best road over here is in worse condition than the nastiest roads I’ve ever ridden.
One of the most mashed up roads just happens to be in True Blue, and leads to our café. I bike to work almost every day, and when I take my road bike it takes years off its life each time. There really is no avoiding the rough patches and I swear my bike is just going to bust in half one of these times.
Luckily, my business partner is the best bike mechanic on the island so he’s been able to keep my bike rolling after it gets eaten up. I’ve already replaced my back rim and did an overhaul on my headset bearings.
I’ve blogged a few times about the riding conditions here in Grenada. I can publicly go on record as saying this is the most dangerous place I have ever ridden. I’ve also said that drivers here are the worst I’ve experienced in the world. It’s not totally their fault. They just aren’t accustomed to road cyclists, their speed, and how to drive around them.
Because of this, I’ve become totally invisible out there. Someone will be about to turn onto the road I’m on, will look right at me, and then cut out in front anyway. Or they will speed past me just to hit the brakes and make me have to swerve around them at the last second.
It really is insane. If you’ve seen the bicycle messenger movie, Premium Rush, imagine it to be something like how it is to ride here in Grenada. You never know when you’ll need to instantly create escape route alternatives and pick the right one.
Some days are so frustrating that I just don’t feel like going through it again….and that’s saying a lot. I’ve never in my life had something make me want to stop riding my road bike….okay, well other than cold weather. Whenever I get to this point, I’ll take a day or two off from the battle on the road and hit the trails on my mountain bike.
There’s definitely been days where I feel eaten up by the riding conditions of Grenada, but I continue fighting my way out of this Country’s stomach and ride my bike.
If you’ve been following my site, you’ll already know that lately my mind has not been functioning properly. I’m the Enthusiastically Depressed Cyclist who has called himself A Fake, and it’s all partly because of my life here in Grenada.
Living in the Caribbean may seem like the ultimate paradise, but the reality is it takes someone with an insanely thick skin to survive here. I’m being completely honest about this.
Seeing as I spent three years living in the Caribbean in the past, I knew what I was in for when we made the move to Grenada. However, this time around I am older, I’ve got two more kids, and am running my own business. Additional stresses like this are multiplied under Caribbean living conditions. All the backwards hoops that have to be jumped through, cultural differences, and third world living are enough to eat up even those with a thickest of skins.
Grenada has taken a few bites, but I’m not about to let anyone chew me up.
So there you have it. I’ve literally and figuratively been eaten up by Grenada. My bike, my rides, and me. But, what happens when you have a Make it Happen attitude? You keep fighting, you keep moving forward, and you enjoy your ride.