In October 2015, through an article published in Bicycle magazine, Friends Alexandra Domingues and Monica Trancoso met the circuit Lagamar, which would be launched in November. With the favorable comments of cyclists who ran the circuit shortly after their release, its various attractions, terrain diversity, exuberant nature and relative ease, friends invited other cyclists from Grupo Pedaletes do Litoral, less experienced in bicycle paths, to join the Lagamar. And at 4 hours of the 26th of May, this remarkable adventure began in the life of each of the Pedaletes, which would have traveled from thence 180 km in four days!
The date was set: The holiday of Corpus Christi. The invitation was launched, with the possibility of assembling a group of up to 15 cyclists, which was quickly closed. Along with Alexandra and Monica, we plan and organize all the details, from lodgings and transportation to the least experienced guidance as to the type of bicycle, luggage rack, tools, food, clothing and everything that is owed and should not lead in a bicycle cycle. In frequent contact with the William Mendes de Souza, biologist, environmental manager, responsible for the implantation of the Lagamar circuit, we talk about our idea of taking this group of women to pedal there and he readily advised us.
We manufacture identification plates with the nickname of each cyclist, to leave the trip with the “Cara” of the Pedaletes, besides a T-shirt of the event. We drew up a passport to harvest the stamps in the towns we’d spend. And after meetings, lectures and even basic mechanics course, it was only to control anxiety until the day of the beginning of the journey.
The group was formed by women between 37 and 56 years, of the most varied professions (physician, engineer, teacher, designer, advocate, artisan, marketing consultant, computerization technique and professional administrative area), joined by the same passion: the bicycle! From the 15th Pedaletes (Adriana, Sandra, Alice, Solange, Amber, Rachel, Ashok Kumar, Fabiana, Rita, Sonia, Andrea, Beth, Monica, Alexandra and Reshmi), only six had already performed a cycling.
The experiment was incredible. We already knew the snippets and small difficulties, both of the circuit and of each of the cyclists. Monica, Alexandra and I were the guides. Monica always followed the front, following the spreadsheet. I, always in the middle, gathering the groups, now at the front, now, at the bottom, and ale closes the group, so nobody stays behind. We also count on the Pedaletes Fabiana, who helped close the group, and Amber and Adriana, who were going to come and forth when the group dispersed, which is common in groups with many people of different levels of conditioning. In this way, we overcome the differences in performance, for physical and technical reasons. The behavioural differences… Those have stayed away. The joy, the happiness of each one, the challenges that are overcome collectively and the discovery of the new to each pedal has joined all, transforming each day and every passage in a pleasant and awaited adventure for each one. It was gratifying to see the unity of the group, the emotion, the final weeping for overcoming the individual boundaries. The bicycle is capable of all this transformation and integration, and that is why it captivates, encourages and solidifies into an immense and satisfying sense of liberty and pleasure for life.
The Lagamar circuit is beautiful. It boasts a varied landscape, passing through places where the nature of the Atlantic rainforest is observed and also the beach. The feeling of free pedalling on the sandy beach is wonderful and delightful. The roadmap passes through historical towns and the bicycle provides us with greater integration with the local population.
The navigation of the screenplay is very easy. We’ve got the navigation charts with William, and the path has signal plates at the fork points. There is also a circuit guide with all the information necessary to plan the bicycle cycle. A hint is to provide the reservations of hotels in advance, because in the high season there is a lot of search for lodging in Cananéia and Ilha long, for being a Praiana region. It can be said that the circuit is turned to beginners. The path does not require much effort to be traveled.
Our first route, from Iguape to Pariquera-Açú, was 46 miles per land road, sighting buffalos, owls, vultures and immense vegetation.
On the second day, we left for Jacupiranga, starting the path on asphalt. There arriving, we were greeted by Renato, the group MTB rides Jacupiranga, partner of the Lagamar circuit. Very solicitous, he led us to the church matrix Nossa Senhora da Conceição, dated 1888. Renato accompanied us by the beautiful road of Canha and took us to meet the dairy factory Kinatural, in the site are the same. The sympathetic manager, Mr. José, referred to the cafeteria for a brief report of the work of environmental education that performs for the students of the schools in the region and offered us several yogurts for tasting. José disparate showed types of different packaging that cause great impact on the final cost of the product, and stimulate the manufacture of recyclable packaging.
We followed the journey and when arriving in Cananéia, Renato took us to meet the Utamaru Marina, whose owner is a cyclist’s athlete. There we have lunch enjoying the beautiful visual that the place provides, and we follow the ferry until it reaches the center of Cananéia. After 59 km, we arrived at the Hotel Coqueiros, and the owner, enthusiast of cycling, promptly received us with a great welcome.
Thinking of new cyclists, we opted for a third day free, for rest. The destiny of this leisure was the island of Cardoso, a lush paradise of nature. Two boats led us to the scene. We’ve spotted gorgeous dolphins playing around us. We visited the ecological park of Ilha do Cardoso, where we saw birds, crabs and species of plant characteristics of the site, besides a museum that is there.
In the fourth and last day, the forecast was 71 miles from pedal. We leave Cananéia very bright and early. We crossed the ferry to Long Island and then in the first kilometers we came across the Sambaqui Nóbrega. Sambaqui is defined as a mound of molluscs from marine, terrestrial or brackish water, skeletons of prehistoric beings, human bones, shells and utensils made of stone and bones. It is the result of human actions, i.e. artificial mounds, with varying dimensions and shapes. Coming out of there we had the first mishap of the trip: The chain of a bicycle broke. As we were warned, they all possessed their Power Link. Alexandra did the repairs and we celebrated the deed a lot. So we leave again for our destiny: the beach of Long Island.
When arriving on the extensive beach, the sensation of liberty, peace and satisfaction caused all to report to childhood. It was amazing the radiant joy of all, until we arrived in Pebbles, a village. Coming out of pebbles, we follow the asphalt at the seaside to the center of Ilha Long. It was late in the afternoon and we were blessed by a beautiful sunset in a beautiful scenery that was shown when we arrived on the bridge connecting Ilha long to Iguape.
We officially end the pedal in the Matrix church. We celebrate with joy the overrun. For Monica, Alexandra and I, was the feeling of duty fulfilled, of personal satisfaction to see how many wonderful sensations we awaken in these four days. Ali, we were among friends, open-hearted, all in love with the bicycle and all the magic that she can provide.
Pedaletes do Litoral is a group coordinated by the cyclist Alexandra Domingues, Specialized Ambassador at the Santos Baixar, who currently counts with more than 100 women registered, resident in Saints, São Vicente and Guarujá. They Pedal in other groups of the region, however, they gather whenever possible on commemorative tours, such as International Women’s Day and the pink October Pedal.
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