Central America | Mexico | Baja Mexico | Baja California Sur | La Paz – Bin thru a desert on a horse with a no name wheel
A couple of days after my last email I met up with the Swiss couple. They were at a bike shop of sorts. Both there back wheels were splintered at several spokes, hers more than his. In this shop, the best shop in town, the biggest town we have seen until this one, only one wheel could be salvaged from a used bike to refit for Mariannas. And it is a 26′ wheel. I expressed how happy I was that I bought a new bike before the trip to avoid these hassles, without sounding heartless of course. They decided to carry on and hope for the best knowing that a ride would be available with the showing of a thumb.
So we carried on. I was glad to meet up with them for the journey thru the desert. We camped that night at an ocean side campground. It was great to see the
ocean again! I sat with a beer and little bottle of tequila and watched a long awaited sunset.
The ride thus far was far from enjoyable. The road was without any shoulder whats so ever and in some sections in very poor repair. In fact where the road was ‘repaired’ was worse than the bad road, they do a lot of these repairs by hand which may pass for a car but it is murder on both bike and butt. And the road is incredibly busy, the traffic just never stops and every 10th vehicle is a transport truck. By far the most treacherous riding I have ever done. When 2 trucks pass beside you, you are forced to surrender your small stake of realty; the problem is that without a shoulder you have to drop off into the gravel if you are so lucky as to have gravel. We did come to appreciate the truckers however. They were always patient and gave us a great wide berth when possible many times at the expense of oncoming traffic. They seemed very paternal that way. They always wave or give big thumbs up when approaching also. Roadside camaraderie.
Enough of that good stuff though, the road sides and beyond are incredibly littered, it really was
Disgusting. There were also a million dead dogs along the road side, I have never seen so much road kill.
And the stench of those carcasses in the sun was enough to…well you know. The next day we cycled to the last stop before the desert, San Rosario. We got in early, which gave us time to get supplies and do some bike maintenance.
While cleaning and oiling my drive train I noticed
that my rear wheel was broken also, much worse than Dominiques. Around one of the spokes the wheel was splintered so bad the rivet had lifted 2 or 3mm. In all there are probably 10 splinters. I have 28′ wheels and we are too far from the last town to turn back and there is not a chance they would have a wheel for me anyway. ‘Why do I open my big mouth?’. Another element added to the challenge. And really thats OK. We just have to be more careful and stick closer together.
We survived! We did 3 120km days on some not so easy roads and we survived. For the first 50kms into the crossing there was not much to see except upcoming climbs, it was really tough. But then the road became somewhat undulating and the cactus’s started. Truly roadrunner territory. Many different types of cactus
at impressive heights of up to 7 meters. It really is something to see. Half way thru it became very rocky which added to the feel and in the last section vegetation shared alot of the ground. It was so dry that sweat never accumulated despite the liters of water we drank. It was tricky to keep enough water, as there are not many villages per say along the route. The bikes are still holding out, I’m really surprised.
I have almost 800km’s to Las Paz and it will have to hold until then, there is no bike shop in this town.
Today is a day off, a well deserved rest. We are waiting for Nick who left us in Ensanada for the east coast. He should show up today and we can be off bright and early tomorrow. If they don’t have a wheel for me in Las Paz I will have to wait there for a week or so until one arrives. If that is the case I know a girl further south I will go and stay with. We have also changed time zones, I am now 1 hour ahead.
Well folks I really must go. I still have to email Mikado and deal with warranty issues. Adios Gazoo