INSIDE THE B2B RIDERS’ EXPERIENCE

The B2B Riders Team

The B2B Riders Team

It is impressive to me how the B2B riders are doing so many tasks after riding heavy bicycles all day. This greatly influences our degree of tiredness, mood, and group dynamics. As much as possible, we are keeping track of our thoughts, feelings and desires by writing diaries or simple notes to release our steam, or record something special. I’m getting snippets of those notes to share an inside view of our feelings.  The authors of the texts will not be mentioned and there is no chronological order to these excerpts, just a glimpse into the psychological aspects of our extraordinary journey. I will post a few of them at a time.

Acordeon

Posted March 31st, 2014

Don’t get tired of being tired! ________ There is nothing better than crossing from one country to another on foot – or on bike in this case. In our age of jet planes every airport around the world feels the same. The same artificial air. The same crap on sale. The same officious immigration officers. You don’t even feel like you are traveling anymore. It’s convenient. And it sux. Crossing this border is intense for us, but not because we are doing it on foot, but because we are leaving our B2B family behind. Or rather, they watch us go. I hope there are no pictures of me because I was crying like a little boy. It’s a melodramatic twist of my personality. Must be the ……. in me, the one I am trying to deny – the ………, not the crying. Mestre Mago, Contra Mestre Fabio, Professor Menisco, Instrutora Come Come and Peixão turn their backs and head back north. The film crew tags along into Mexico. Mariano is missing. Later we find out that he went with the support car to support Amber’s crossing into the strange new world. We are all heartbroken at the prospect of separation. You may laugh at this, but you go ahead and share bread, travel, joys and hardships with your tribe. And then they are gone. For good. Or at least a really long time. There is no “I’ll see you in a week”. Or “I’ll visit around Christmas”. Nada. We will see our friends in a lot more than a year. Probably. _________ As we approach the end of our time in Mexico, I look back in amazement at all terrain we rode, the landscapes we passed through, people we met, and wonderful experiences we had. In many ways Mexico was a continued ‘’disneyland’’ after California. The capoeira communities here received us with open arms and warm sentiments. The small pueblos we stayed in each had their charm and stories. I was glad to get to experience so many places even though some went by very quickly. Mexico City was a neat experience of big city life for me. I always had a curiosity of what it would be like to live in a big city like that and our two week stay at Mestre Cigano’s gave me a glimpse into what big city life is like. I loved sightseeing and training a lot there, but was relieved to be back in mother nature’s arms after two weeks, reaffirming to myself that smaller towns and nature are where I am most comfortable I can’t say enough how thankful I am each day to be a part of this. _________ I love the hospitality of the capoeira community. We share what we have without the fear of lack and we know it all evens out in the end. It blew my mind when we got to Mexico cuz they are the same way with or without capoeira. We were resting on the side of the road when a local stopped to see what we were about. After maybe a 2 minute conversation he said, “wait here I’ll go get tacos for everyone.” He brought enough for like 17 people and we still had leftovers. Then same thing different town, we got to a city a little late in the day and there were no campsites available. We were offered to stay with the bomberos (firefighters) and were pleasantly surprised with an amazing meal of fish tacos and fresh clams mmmmmmmmm! These people are very good examples for us to follow. They don’t have much but what they do have is shared…. _________ I love the feeling of warm sand between my toes and the ocean lifting me up and crashing down on me only to lift me up once again. I want to stop at every beach we pass to run across the sand and leap into the sea, but most of the time I just gaze longingly at it as my bicycle carries me along to the next destination or cafe.Therefore, for me, one of the most beautiful moments of the trip was a morning roda we had at the Marina Dunes Beach. It was early so not many people woke up to play but in some ways that made it better, more intimate. The games were long, for the most part, slow, and we were able to play everyone multiple times. The games between Mestre Mago and Mestre Itapuã Beiramar were especially fun to watch, and I noticed that they were playing differently than they do at events where I normally see them. There was something more playful, more open about it. Something I notice about playing Capoeira in general, but especially with certain mestres and people with more time, is that it affords the same exhilaration as being in the ocean amongst the waves. After this wonderful morning roda, I ran across the sand and let the sea engulf me. _________ The group dynamics were strongly affecting me to the point where I just wanted to be by myself for a while but had no where to run to. This is part of what I love best about peeling away from the group on uphill rides. Its very liberating and is a wonderful chance to be by myself for some time, just me, my bike, the hill, and an incredible view. It allows me to work off my frustrations and to feel good. Living in a big group of people that I did not choose to live with has been an interesting process for me. We are many and we have many different personalities, ways of doing things, ways of living. Some days its really great but some days its incredibly overwhelming and stressful. I feel like the group dynamics become such a focus that it takes away from the actual project and what we are about. We have to spend so much time to find places to stay, to make sure people clean up after themselves, dealing with petty arguments such as how to share or not to share. I know that Mestre didn’t choose for any of us to be here so I can’t exclude myself from being part of this big group.

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