My next 50 km were to Ubate, a town where I had no host and no idea what’d I do- Thankfully they were relatively flat and pleasant, and somehow devoid of of the large vehicles I’m becoming accustomed to.  I cranked up some Buena Vista Social Club and cranked along, occasionally stopping to pet a calf, stretch, and eat a banana. The road workers were most ecstatic at the sight, and shouted the Colombian word I love to hear most; “chevre!”

Rolling into Ubate, a few kids on BMX bikes hanging out at a local playground saw me trucking by and dashed into action, soon I had a rolling escort of five into the town square.  Ten minutes later I posted up next to a fruit stand in the plaza and chatted up the vendor; she happily gave me two oranges for a pic on the tallbike.  Someone ran off to tell the local bike shop owner I was here, and soon Senor Javier Calderon arrived on a beautiful vintage forest green city bike.  By this time a small crowd had gathered, and Javier took me for a jugo de mora (aka Andean Blackberry) while trusted friends looked at and over my bike and belongings.  My Spanish is still in beta stage, by I was able to communicate about my journey, and that I was staying the night in town.  Javier insisted that I could keep my bike safe and sound in his shop for the night and get a room at a good rate at the hotel next door.  I got a room with TV, wifi, hot water, and a firm bed (thank goodness) for 15000 pesos, something like 8$.


I came back down to the shop to find Javier had pulled out his own freakbike, and I happily putted around while people took photos on top of my bike.


me and javier ubate

Hilarious middle aged men in groups of 3-4 took turns hoisting each other onto the bike, wildly flailing as they shouted to their friends below “Animo!” (I think “hold on!”)

I spent the night hanging out at the local chicken rotissiere, throwing back a Poker (local cerveza) and watching the finals of Colombian league futbol match.


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