21 December 2015 | Orchid Bay Marina, Great Guana Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
Sunny, 74degrees, SSE wind 15 knots
We didn't use the bikes much in the Great Lakes. We used them in Mackinac Island, who wouldn't? They were also a lot of fun riding around Charlevoix, MI and Annapolis, MD. They really came in handy in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas. We were four weeks on the hard fixing Uproar. For the first week we had a rental car. The boat yard was about 2 miles from our condo. The bikes really came in handy for daily trips to the Marsh Harbour Boat Yard. Marsh Harbour is the perfect size town for bikes. There is only one stop light but at “rush hour” there is some traffic.
I had to hunt all over town for supplies and parts for Uproar. The bike was the perfect way to get around. We also explored and found some areas we probably would have overlooked by car. There was a “jungle” road along the Sea of Abaco from the condo to MHBY. Years ago, someone got mad at someone and plowed a mound of dirt in the middle of the road. No problem for the bikes. It was a delightful and somewhat challenging route.
We also found a Haitian restaurant, Dusk 'til Dawn. This was way off the tourist list but we loved it. Food was great and we got to know almost everyone there. They had Griot pork and Pikliz. Pikliz is a slaw with lime juice, garlic and very hot goat peppers. I think they are the same as Jamaican Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers. We were there late one Friday night with Victor and Liz. We were the only gringos there. One older gentleman followed me to the bathroom, stood outside the door and escorted me back to my table. Totally unnecessary as everyone was friendly there but a kind gesture.
Lisa and I really felt a part of Marsh on our bikes. Everyone waved to us or said, “Hello” or just “OK.”We rode our bikes to the tree lighting bazaar and enjoyed the great food. It was a nice neighborhood affair with kids running wild lit up with LED powered toys. We were the only tourists there but didn't feel like tourists. We knew several people there and were greeted by others.
When Bahamians give directions, they never cite street names. They give directions by landmarks or buildings that must be familiar to all. “Turn left at the green wall” or “It's just past the Yamaha Dealer.” We had some trouble initially but soon knew the town like a native. By the way, watch out for the “green wall” A lady in a hurry to meet the Baker's Bay ferry bumped me at that narrow intersection. She stopped and was horrified. I stayed on the bike and was OK. I couldn't stay mad, she was truly sorry.
We just spent three days at Great Guana Cay. We rode all over the island visiting places that are too far to walk. I packed them away for our trip to Hope Town. Lisa said, “don't pack them too deep, we want them in Hope Town.
Now for the technical section. We have Montague folding bikes courtesy of South Shore Cyclery. They are seven speed, folding frame bikes with 26” wheels. They are not as compact as the more common 20” wheel bikes but we can ride these bikes anywhere! Tires are not off-road but seem to work fine in gravel, hard sand or rutted roadways. I think we would have crashed often on 20” wheel bikes. I would highly recommend these bikes. We met two other cruisers with Montague bikes and they also loved them.
Thanks Steve for the great bikes. I'm going to need to replace the chains someday. I'm trying to stay away from the salt but it is in the air. The chains are rusting in spite of my dousing them in Kroil.