Trans Andes Amazon Journey by the New Bohemians

Casa de Ciclistas in Trujillo

By Claire Rogers:

We rode and walked a complete spiral around the neighborhood before we finally found the legendary Casa de Ciclistas in Trujillo. We weren’t even supposed to be coming to Trujillo, but here we were, late in the day, arriving in town by bus and very disoriented. Lucho opened the door and quickly established: “Mi casa es su casa.” Lucho’s wife, Aricela warmly snuggled up to me on the couch though I was grimy and tired from travel. Bob connected with Alan, another tandem captain to talk tech and other cyclists came and went through the chaos. Soon there was a scramble to shower and fill the water basins before the service was shut off for the night. We locked Zippy to the banister before heading out to find dinner with Nedo, a Swiss cyclist who had just arrived having ridden the same 140 kilometers we’d just taken by bus. Nedo is on his way north and is planning a modified Southern Cross tour starting in October (he’s looking for riding partners, so pass the word. He’d like to go through the National Parks of S. Utah)

Casa de Ciclistas has been swallowing tired cyclists from off the gritty streets of Trujillo since 1985. Lucho, a winning competitive cyclist, keeps a workshop bulging with awards, tools and memorabilia from years of appreciative bike tourists. The front room is mostly for bike parking, but a small lounge area is the gathering place for international tourists to keep company with Lucho as he builds wheels, browse through the burgeoning visitor logs or visit and share notes with other tourists.

In keeping with the needs of touring cyclists, the accommodations are basic: a cold shower, rickety beds and a laundry wash basin and drying line. At this point in a PanAm tour, what cyclists really want is a place to spread out, repair equipment and search out stores for parts replacements. If they have the luxury of time, they’ll enjoy connecting with an ephemeral biking community hosted through the generosity of Lucho and Aricela. All they ask in return is a donation to help with costs.

The visitor logs are amazing. Entire life stories spill over the pages with added pictures and colorful drawings. Lucho keeps the first six volumes in an ammunition box and will soon archive volume seven. He also keeps a numeric record of his visitors, we were visitors number 1556 and 1557.

Lucho hopes to someday produce a book on the history of the Casa de Ciclistas. Sounds like a good project for a writer/bicyclist with excellent Spanish.

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