Living on the road, we often meet new friends at craft breweries, camping spots, concerts, you name it. And when the glass is empty and the music has stopped playing, it is time to move on. We didn’t move into an RV to stay put, we moved into an RV to travel. So, saying good-bye to the friends we have met along the way is hard.
Saying good-bye to your beloved mountain bikes that help you get to these breweries and concerts and kick-ass trails on your travels is even harder. Just kidding, but it sucks to say good-bye to a thing that fits perfectly between your legs, offering you both comfort and a kick in the ass at the same time. Mountain bikes, fool! I’m talking about mountain bikes.
No More Mountain Bikes
And it’s quite one thing to get rid of a bike that has brought you the feeling of flight, and quite a different thing to have it taken from you…no, not borrowed. Stolen.
Yep, somebody needed our bikes more than we did, I guess. We’re not totally naive. It crossed our minds that storing our bikes on the back of the RV (locked and strapped on securely) could bring about some unwanted attention. But at the same time we weren’t overly concerned about it.
Stealth Camping, Brewery Tours, and Street Tacos
Having been in Baja California for almost a month already, parked on several streets in a variety of cities and small towns, our bikes stayed nestled in their rack, exactly where they were supposed to be. Trying our first night of stealth camping in Baja in Ensenada, we woke up to typical weekday morning sounds of a city waking up, bikes still happily where they belonged.
On this typical morning, we did our typical thing: off to interview an OG in the beer scene, Paco at Canneria Cerveza, where the art, the people, and the beers welcome you to authentic Ensenada, and then off to eating some world famous (endorsed as so by the world famous Anthony Bourdain) street tacos at La Guerrerense. Dude, these tacos were awesome! The chunks of fresh seafood piled high atop the tostada and then ladened with fresh salsas – Heaven! Missing one thing though. You guessed it – Beer!
Which meant time to find a new brewery. Realizing there was a taproom just down the street, we wandered in, ordered a couple of beers, and promptly left about halfway through the beers. Always trying to keep the good in the craft beer scene, we don’t say much, if there isn’t much good to say, so we’re not going to say much about the beers we tasted here. We will just say this, leaving beers half drank; I don’t think we’ve ever done that.
With full, almost happy bellies we headed back to RAIF, and not knowing it, yet, back to bikes that were no longer snuggled where they belong.
Stolen Bikes, Stolen Spirits
Were we parked in a “bad” neighborhood? Maybe. maybe not. Should we have placed the bikes inside when parked? Maybe. Should we have had a better lock and cable? That one’s probably a yes.
There were many more questions and what-if games that we played for the next few moments. Were we upset? Of course! It sucks to have your things stolen. Things that you have worked hard for, things that you really enjoy. It felt like a personal attack and it was scary and it pissed us off. It even made us want to go home (even travelers have an actual place they call home). And in those moments, it made us forget all the good that we have experienced in the last 18 months of traveling.
And then we came to our senses. Could we have prevented this? Maybe. Maybe not. But at the end of the day, our bikes are things. They don’t make the good we experience. We do. So, just like falling off a bike, we got up, brushed ourselves off, and got right back on the ride. Fuck off people who stole our bikes. We hope they give you what you need. Are we pissed? Yep! Are we done enjoying this wonderfully weird flawed gift of life that we have in this moment? Not a friggin chance.
Thieves Don’t Win…We Do!
Donning our big girl panties, we wished our bikes a good life with their new owners and continued on with our original plan…more beer…and food! First checking out Wendlandt Cervezeria drowning in our sorrows a bit, (made not so easy by good beer) and then finding ourselves at Lucky Irish Pub #4, a beer garden that overlooks the Pacific, with 32 ounce beer mugs (if you so choose), over 50 Mexican craft beers on tap, food choices galore, and just a good vibe, we relaxed into the evening. Bikes? What bikes? It really wasn’t that easy, but meeting new friends, laughing, talking beer, travel, and enjoying the simplicity of good humans and good beer, life eased back into believing in humanity again.
We almost decided against stealth camping that night because those thieves – for a moment – took away a small piece of our sense of security in the belief of good people. But in the end, we decided they weren’t going to win. We did nothing wrong, and they were not going to take away our love of travel, adventure, the unknown, and the fact that people are good. We still believe.
I almost didn’t write about this, but then I decided I had to share a couple of lessons learned. Yes, of course, change the way we store our bikes in the future. But we also want to share that travel life is not all rainbows and unicorns. Too many people share only the good things, almost giving a false impression.
Regardless of lifestyle, there’s always things that happen that can very quickly make us feel as though our face just smashed into a concrete wall. But there are many more things that make us grin from ear to ear, and while the stories we have to tell are generally about the good in people, there are other stories that need to be told as well. It is up to you as to how you react to your stories.
If you let the world get to you, you will never get to the world, so even though bad shit happens, good shit happens, too!
For more Baja Adventures, click below to read our Baja Beer and Travel Journal, where stories will be added as we experience them.
Click here to reminisce with us on the adventures our beloved bikes took us on. But no fear, we shall have new bikes and new adventures coming soon.