Monday, October 18, 2010

Biking in Basseterre


I'm a punk. I admit it. I love a good travel adventure but  in the end, St. Kitts managed to kick my butt. I'm a big biking fan, as my weekly rides on my tricked out, pink Raleigh attests. But I just wasn't prepared for biking in St. Kitts.  I trotted out for an early morning ride with my press comrades and quickly crumbled. What could be so tough about biking through a tiny and lovely little island you ask?

Well, for starters, we have the heat.  You'll never hear me complain about the sunshine and I adore hot, tropical weather. It's just that, a  95 degree temperature is not all that ideal for bike riding. See the wilted look on my face in the photo above? Notice the sweat glistening on my arms? That was was just the first 3 minutes.


Then we have the gorgeous Basseterre landscape. I was surrounded by verdant green vegetation everywhere I looked. The Caribbean Sea beckoned  over the hills. Hills. I somehow had forgotten how hilly St. Kitts is. You can't go two steps without encountering a hill, mountain or volcano.  Love climbing them but riding?  Let's just say that although I recognize the overall physical value of the escapade, I did not turn down our guide's offer to let me ride in his truck for the remainder of the two-hour ride.  The rest of my comrades stayed strong on their bikes and I watched proudly from the window of the truck as their muscles pulsed and the sweat poured.

We rode past the cemetery, which I declined to go through but the backdrop provided a stunning vista.


We rolled past the Government House, residence of the Governor General of St. Kitts. The armed guard allowed me to take a photo but he was serious about guarding the house, as you can gather from his expression.


This is the Government House, where the Governor General was not in residence at the time but that still didn't keep the guards and their guns from guarding it.  It's "protocol" we were told.


We rode into downtown Basseterre to the Circus, which is my favorite part. Modeled after London's Piccadilly Circus,  St. Kitts British colonial influence is prominently displayed with the bronze Berkeley Memorial Clock and the surrounding roundabout.  The ride back uphill was of course treacherous, I felt every steep incline radiating under the seat of the truck.

17 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Ity looks gorgeous. It must be really hot to prevent you bike riding.

Rachel Cotterill said...

The heat would definitely be more than I could handle - I'm not cut out for hot weather! At least you tried :)

Catherine said...

it does look a beautiful island all round - like that British roundabout as well - glad you forgave yourself for the truck ride - no sweat!!

Fly Girl said...

Jean-Luc, it was so hot that the bik seat was buring my thighs!

Rachel,I did try and now I know what I can stand.

Catherine, I totally forgave myself feeling the brezze in that front seat!

A Cuban In London said...

I'm with you on this one. Humidity got the better of me whenever I attempted to cycle in Cuba, despite being born there. St Kitts shouldn't be any different. Marvellous photos, especially the Government House. Quite majestic. :-)

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, thanks. Your perspective makes me feel better about not being able to finish.

eden said...

What a lovely place! Love that roundabout photo. Yeah, I would do the same, I won't turn down the guide's offer. Nice photos as always.

Fly Girl said...

Eden, it's good to know you'd be riding in that truck with me!

Cate said...

I can imagine the heat and the thought of exercising during it would put me off. Love the pink cycling ensemble, goes well with the weather. Basseterre does look good for cycling around, if only for the weather...

Fly Girl said...

Cate, thanks. Pink is my go to island color!

Mary R said...

Sometimes we wake up and we're just not into physical exercise when we travel. My husband wants to do a bike trip through Thailand for 5 days, and I'm thinking, I'd be okay doing 1 day.

It's mostly that I want to admire the scenery and not have to concentrate on potholes in the road and competing cars.

Looks like you have a nice time anyway, and I'm impressed that you stuck to your feeling and opted out because you felt like it.

MinnieRunner said...

Would love to try biking too someday. For now, let me content myself with running :D

Heather Dugan (Footsteps) said...

Always have a Plan B (or C if necessary!)...

Fly Girl said...

Mary, biking is another way to admire scenery, it was just those hills and heat that got in the way!

Minnie,I think running is a lot harder on the body than running. I like the low impact of bike riding.

Heather, I know all about that!

A Cuban In London said...

I tried to comment on your post about Gregory Isaacs, but the comments box is not letting me. Maybe a little glitch? Anyway, what a cool daddy-o! I'm not a fan, but I definitely appreciate his contribution to music, which should rank at the same level as a Marvin Gaye or Ben E King. Many thanks for such heartfelt tribute. I'll come back and see if I can post this comment in the relevant post.

Greetings from London.

William K Wallace said...

I think I would have lasted about 10 minutes cycling in that heat, I use to sometimes find it hard going just walking around when I lived in Barbados. I think I would have went for the open top jeap or moped option depending on how bad the roads were.

Fly Girl said...

William, that makes me feel better although there was no jeep or moped option, just biking or riding behind the bikers in a car. Thanks for dropping by.