Assembling my Bike Friday and taking it out for a spin to make sure everything works, and I am so very pleased it does. It is a new bike and first big trip for it
I took it for a spin to Austin Rogers Bird Sanctuary right in Pretoria. The altitude here is about 4,550 feet so I can feel it.
A woman I had been corresponding with through warmshowers.org contacted me and we met for lunch in a deli at the lovely Magnolia Park. (That is a website dedicated to cyclists.) We shared cycling stories, her latest big trip was taking her bicycle to Japan and solo cycling and camping for three months.
She was encouraging but not so sure it is saife for a woman to cycle solo in South Africa. Which is exactly what I am going to do.
After lunch I cycled to downtown Pretoria to see the city hall and perhaps a museum but things were closing when I got there so I cycled back to my lovely guesthouse. It was an adventure in a totally black neighborhood with people of all ages out and about. One little boy about nine years old followed me through the park, really wanting his dad to get him a bike like mine, but in blue. His little sister just smiled and ragged along. Cute kids! I mostly walked my bike on sidewalks to avoid the busy traffic.
The guest house is more like a home stay as we get to eat with the family at their outside dining table, on a very large porch.
Tonight Delma was a newly arrived guest. She is just finished with her two-year volunteer job with the Peace Corps as a nurse in an area north of Pretoria, and had a month to explore before going back to her home in Queens, New York City. The Peace Corps here is focusing on the very large problem of AIDS.
Our host thanked her more than once for her work, saying we cannot deal with it ourselves.
Tomorrow I start cycling and am looking forward to it.