We’re always ready with the right equipment. Note the brace on Marilyn’s leg. She lost her anterior Cruciate ligament in her knee as a young girl. This makes it difficult when she is twisting to dismount the bike. The brace stabilizes her knee and lets her ride with the pros.
We always wear helmets, too. Marilyn got her bike stuck in a railroad track in Lisbon and fell. Luckily, her helmet prevented any injury. As was typical in Europe in our experience, a passing truck driver got to her well before I even noticed she had fallen. The driver helped her up and helped move her and the bike to safety. She suffered a skinned knee which was patched up in a nearby restaurant while we tasted the local fish cooked Lisbon-style along with a bottle of Mateus wine which I hadn’t seen since my days in college in the 60’s. Remember the rounded bottle we saved to burn candles in? The wine had a slight sparkle to it and was light pink. And only $3 a bottle. I don’t know why we don’t see it in the US any more. But the important thing was the helpfulness of the restaurant staff when Marilyn walked in. By the time I arrived after locking up the bikes a minute later, they were pointing me to the ladies’ room and handing me a first aid kit, telling me it was OK to go into the ladies’ room because they would lookout. We normally keep our own first aid kit for these little emergencies.
And don’t you think the hat under the helmet is stylish? We always get a lot of weird looks from the hat. But Marilyn believes it is necessary to prevent the sun from drying and wrinkling her skin. Works for me!
We prepared for Portugal by printing a small 8-page playing card-sized phrase book in Portuguese. As I shouted Hello in Portuguese to everyone we passes, almost everyone responded with a quizzical look and only a few responded back. In the restaurant, when I mentioned that to the waitress, she asked me to repeat it. She then told me that my phrasebook was in Brazilian Portuguese and the word for Hello in Portugal was different. I can imagine that everyone thought I was a Brazilian foreigner with a bad accent.