Saturday, January 11, 2014

La Paz -> Topolobampo -> Hermsosillo

The day after meeting up with Craig and Rodney, I packed my things and headed out to where I'd board the ferry. It was a short 24km ride along the boardwalk through La Paz and along the shoreline. It was a great day and I was excited to start another chapter of the tour. As soon as I got there I purchased tickets for myself and also my bicycle. After an hour or so of waiting, they started allowing folks to board. The military guys waived me through and let me on, without a problem. Instead of checking my bike with the luggage lady, they let me store my it, myself, in an employee lounge aboard the ferry. Pretty nice not having to worry about a stranger man-handling my bike.

I thought it would be an overnight ride across the Sea, but eight hours later we were docking into Topolabampo. It was around 9 or 10 o'clock and pitch black. I try to avoid riding at night, as much as possible out here. I found a nice hotel and had an amazing night of rest.

The next morning I rode about 20km into Los Mochis, where I got on a bus to bring me here, Hermosillo. The stretch of road headed north from Los Mochis, is a toll road and doesn't allow bicycles. It was a tough choice, having to skip so much of mainland, but my other option wasn't entirely realistic. I would have had to ride east, crossing a mountain range that makes what I crossed in Baja look like a pancake. Not just that, but they are quite cold this time of year. I didn't bring cold-weather gear and the gearing on my bike would have just made that route, well, not too enjoyable.

From here, Hermosillo, I'll be riding north to the border crossing at Aqua Prieta/Douglas, AZ. After crossing into the US, I'll start trekking northwest through Bisbee and Tombstone to Tuscon. From Tuscon I'm not quite sure where I'll go, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Just a few pictures, sorry.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

La Paz

After a short, two hour bus ride, I made it into La Paz a few nights ago. I'm getting ready to head out to where I'll board the ferry, which will take me to mainland Mexico! Pretty excited.

I've been having a great time here. Yesterday, I ran into Rodney for the third on this tour. Rodney is the motorcycle tourist, riding around the world. We hung out and went into downtown La Paz to do some sight-seeing and to get some info on the ferry from the tourist center.

In central La Paz, we ran into Craig, from New York... Craig is the guy who lives in a van with four Baja dogs he's adopted. Super cool dude. I was planning on meeting up with him in La Ventana, but my plans changed. I was bummed we wouldn't cross paths again, then bam, there he was in La Paz. It's super cool running into friends Ive met on the road.

Anyway, gotta get packed up and get out of La Paz... The ferry leaves at 2:30, but i need to be there a good bit earlier.

Here are some pictures.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Loreto -> Ciudad Insurgento -> Ciudad Constitucion

After a week of rest in Loreto I left feeling healthy and ready to roll. From Loreto I was within striking distance of La Paz, my final destination in Baja. It would be a 117km ride to get into Ciudad Insurgento. After Loreto, the road was somewhat flat for ~20km, but I ran straight into some intense mountains and brutal climbs. I had to hike my bike roughly 4km because the road was way too steep for the way my bike is set up. I'm loving the single-speed, but these hills weren't possible with the only gear I have. When I stopped to eat some lunch, I heard a bell behind me. I turned around and saw a heard of goats chomping down on the grass and leaves around the area. Pretty cool. Those guys know how to eat.

While hiking up this mountain, I had to jump off to the side of the road because of traffic. I took an awkward step and tweaked the hell out my groin. It's been killing me ever since and has made it near impossible to pedal with my left leg. After getting through the big climb, I was lucky to have a mostly downhill stretch of highway. I ended up riding 92km on this day and found a nice little stealth camp close to the road. I hobbled around camp that night, hoping I'd wake up with a groin that wasn't hurting. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case and the next morning the pain was still there. I broke camp and, very slowly, rode into Ciudad Insurgento, 25km away. When I got there, all I wanted to do was find a place to sleep and take the rest of the day off. 80% of the power going into the drivetrain of my bike was coming from my right leg. It was a struggle to push forward. After lunch I decided to keep riding. I made it into Ciudad Constitucion and called it quits. Only a 50km day. My groin was getting worse and by using only my right leg to pedal, I felt helpless. I called my folks to let them know the story and to also have somebody tell me I wouldn't be a big wussy for taking a bus to La Paz. I'm tired of sitting around waiting for my body to heal... I was going mad in Loreto with Cabin Fever. I just want to keep moving forward however possible.

I'm still upset with myself for making this decision, but logic always prevails. Wasting time and money to sit around, waiting to feel better, just isn't something I'm interested in doing at this point. I have another month of riding left in mainland Mexico and I want to be healthy enough to do it.

I camped just outside of Ciudad Constitucion last night and as of now I'm waiting for a bus to take me to La Paz, where I'll board a ferry to mainland. With the bus and the ferry, I'll get three days of rest without riding and I'm really hoping in that time my body will recover.
I'm no stranger to this type of pain, especially getting through it. In High School, all four years, I played hundreds of baseball games with injuries similar to this. Osgood Slaughter in my right knee, a bruised sternum, an impingement in my right shoulder and a strained achilles. None of which I ever had taken care of. Looking back, I should've stopped playing through it all. With that said, I'm not making the same mistakes again. I'm not going to push my body further than it can go right now. Pride swallowed.

Pictures! The last one is of a pipe that Tall Bike Bobby gave to me on January 1st, to celebrate the law change in Colorado that allows the legal, recreation use of Marijuana. The pipe is a real shell, that Bobby found outside of Mulege. It works perfectly and, although I'm not in Colorado, was an amazing way to celebrate a huge day in the best state of the US!