Monday, March 24, 2014

Ride Day 175 Salina Cruz to San Pedro Tapanatepec

Today I was anxious to get out on the road. I have been crippled for the last couple of days due to the rough bus ride from Oaxaca to Salinas Cruz. My body was ready for a good workout. I did not really know what to expect as far as road conditions or anything else for that matter, I was riding blind. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the road was today. For 80% of the way there was even a good flat smooth shoulder for me to safely ride on. I left Salina Cruz before dawn and had to run a few deserted stop lights on my way out of town. The first 25 miles were mostly populated outskirts of Salina Cruz and Tehuantepec. At least the road was flat. The shoulder came and went along this stretch of road and traffic was light except for a few minutes near Tehuantepec. Once past there it was smooth sailing all the way with great wide shoulders for most of the road.

I did have some wind issues but I am not complaining. The wind was blowing about 20-25mph from about 10 o’clock which is a headwind but in this heat, 100 Plus degrees, the headwind was a welcome cooling wind that kept the sweat from dripping in my eyes. The wind did slow me down a bit but with the great smooth flat road I was still doing over 15 mph so I was happy.

I rode about 85 miles in seven hours and then came upon a road block. The road was blockaded by locals with fires burning in car wheel rims and a large mass of people standing on the roadway. They were soapboxing about whatever the protest was about and would not even let pedestrians go through. I rode along the almost 2 mile long backup of cars, trucks and buses and when I got to the blockade I just waved and went right through the fires and the group of people as they parted for me. I heard one guy yell at me in spanish, “Don’t you understand Spanish?” I smiled at him and answered in Spanish that I did not understand him. The crowd of protestors laughed at my response but let me keep riding. As I rode down the long line of vehicles on the other side of the blockade, they all waved and cheered at me. I just smiled back and kept saying buenos dias to them all. As I passed a group of onlookers along the road, I rode no hands and waved with my left hand at the line of cars and with my right hand at the onlookers. They got a kick out of that and cheered, whistled and clapped at me. I saw military trucks with soldiers heading for the roadblock while sitting at a cafe in town hydrating from my ride.

I rode the last five miles to San Pedro Tapanatepec on an almost empty road. I was tired but I felt great as I got to town. I got a cheap hotel room, for $13, and took a long cool shower to try to cool down. I will need to go out in town and find some food later after I rest up for a bit. Tomorrow I ride south some more but from here to the Guatemalan border it is sparsely populated and there are some mountains to cross. I will likely be out of touch until I arrive at the border. I only took a couple of pics but this wifi is not up to posting even those so later with the pics…

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