I’ve been riding my bicycle a lot, as I mentioned in my last post. Riding here in Panama is different than in the US. Many people have bikes as their main mode of transportation so there are always bikes in the road. People also walk a lot, so the cars are used to sharing the road and are much more considerate of bikers and pedestrians. I avoid a few high traffic areas and the Pan-American highway that has no shoulders or extra space for bikes, but generally I feel like I can go anywhere I want.
People here are very outgoing and friendly. I’m always greeted by numerous people and I’ve made some nice friends. Many want to practice their English so I’m less startled now by an English greeting when I’m expecting Spanish. I’ve learned my way around town more and have found a number of interesting shops and businesses. A post will be coming soon about the guys who hand made the new tables in my living room.
Of course, I always have a camera. Unfortunately the screen in my handy little video camera died, but Joel was nice enough to give me his little Kodak and that seems to be working out well. My favorite routes are to ride through town and then south or southwest towards La Barqueta.
Biking works well for me. It’s fun and doesn’t bother my knees. But, the benefits have gone beyond exercise. I love being outdoors, I love being out with people and seeing what is going on around town, I love getting to know the town better and finding things I wouldn’t know about otherwise, and I love being out in the countryside where its so beautiful.
I’m retired and I have the time, so there is no excuse for neglecting my priorities. Health and well being are very important because I have things to DO! I’ll be able to do a lot more for a lot longer if I’m strong and healthy. I also believe that having a good sense of community, friends, and family (adopted and honorary family counts too) is important for good health and a positive outlook. So, for me, biking has worked out even better than I expected.