Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ride Days 168-169 Loreto to La Paz

I was packed up well before light this morning and hit the road out of Loreto right away. I had about 24 kilometers of easy riding then a giant mountain to climb and I wanted to do the mountain before it was too hot. My plan worked out well and I had my first Mexican Century ride today. What made it work out so well is that David stopped right near the base of the mountain and asked me if I wanted to throw my bike in the back of his pickup and get a lift. I hesitated but then did just that. It was almost 30 kilometers before we went over the crest of the mountain. I kept saying ok you can let me out at the next safe spot and he kept saying no, we are not at the top yet. He knew the road so he was right of course.

When I finally jumped out and said thanks I started off with a long downhill glide then a tailwind was pushing me when I hit the bottom and the road straightened out and became flat. I was riding at about 18 miles per hour thanks to the wind pushing me. I have had almost all mountains until now except for one short flat stretch on the road from Mulege to Loreto. I enjoyed the speed I was able to make. I stopped in Constitution for some quick tacos and coffee then was right back out on the road.

I finally melted from the heat and the long ride at Las Pocitas a village with about twenty buildings. I picked out a restaurant and went in to talk to them about where I could camp for the night. I lucked out by meeting Manuel. He immediately told me I could camp in his yard or better yet he would rent me a spare house for 7 dollars. I took the house because he told me it would be much quieter in the house and that trucks make lots of noise at night this close to the road.

I spent the rest of the afternoon talking with Manuel and looking around his compound that he built himself out of local stone, wood and cacti parts with a thatched roof of palmetto leaves. Manuel was quite the innovative builder and had a well thought out design. His family made dinner of beans, mixed vegies, cheese and tortillas that was delicious. We all enjoyed ourselves I think. I was a lucky camper today.

After we ate my body melted from exhaustion from riding 105 miles. I thanked them profusely, paid my rent and went to my house for the night where I plan on writing this then going to bed.

Tomorrow it is off to La Paz 65 miles away ending with a big long grade up over the mountains again.
Not many pics today until I stopped riding and settled down at Manuel’s place.

I left Manuel’s place before dawn and rode hard in overcast conditions. I stopped for breakfast after riding for an hour and the sun rose. Great breakfast from a roadside restaurant. Then I hit the road again. Today it was large rolling hills in a drier desert than I have been riding in. I made it to La Paz by mid day and rode straight out to the ferry to try to get on the ferry that night. They would not sell me a ticket until the next day at 1pm so I rode the 15 miles back to town making it my second century ride in as many days. I started looking for a hotel and ended up in a bed and breakfast place that is really nice but over budget for me. It is the only hotel I need over the last five days which were and will be free so I went for it. I repacked my bags after washing my clothes and checked the bike over and lubed it. Now a good night of rest and tomorrow I should be on the ferry to Mazatlan. A few pics