Ready, Set, Restart!

Ready, Set, Go!

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Ready, Set, Go!

 

For all intents and purposes, I am considering today (Wed, Nov. 16) the beginning of my new trip south. I have been off the bike, more or less, since January. Both the stint on the Great Divide this summer, as well as the month just finished in Cuba, are more like little biking holidays. Nathan and I finally rolled out of Cancun today, resuming our trip down the Americas. His motion never really stopped, although it slowed down and had a few detours thrown in, mine certainly did come to a roaring halt. So, now that I feel a bit of motion has resumed on my roads unwound trip, I wanted to describe my first day of the restart; Cancun to Playa del Carmen.

Cancun was nearly all work and no play, nearly.Cancun was nearly all work and no play, nearly.

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Cancun was nearly all work and no play, nearly.

 

Our hostel in Cancun was on the road we needed to get out of town and down the coast, making for an easy exit. It just took us a bit of time this morning to remember how to pack everything onto the bikes. Nathan had warned me of the flat roads in the Yucatan, but these are pancake flat, no, crepe flat. He also just informed me we climbed over 300 ft during the course of our 40+ mile ride to Playa del Carmen, which we both assume to mean that the computers are broken or are somehow adjusting for the curvature of the earth. Highway 307 along the coast is the lifeblood of this region, and a nightmare for a cyclist. Cars, trucks, buses and semis oh my. We probably saw more vehicles pass us today than during our entire month in Cuba. And, all the cars today probably let out about as much noxious exhaust as a half dozen of the cars in Cuba. Also, it was hot and humid. So, in summary, it was hot, humid, flat, straight, and busy.

Highway 307, Yucatan, Day 1 out of CancunHighway 307, Yucatan, Day 1 out of Cancun

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Highway 307, Yucatan, Day 1 out of Cancun

 

Oh, and I got a flat tire and crashed my bike. Actually, I crashed my bike because of the flat tire, making them sort of one in the same issue. If you are going to make a big deal out of your first day fully loaded and back on the road, then you had better prepare for the full Monty. I was slowly adjusting to the ride of the encumbered bike, which makes a normally stiff and stout bike feel a bit loose, but that goes only so far to explain why I had a hard time realizing I had a flat, and then pulling over to deal with it. To swiften the process, as I passed a parked truck in front of a gas station I let the handlebars jack-knife and flip me to the ground. If you are wondering how many people witnessed, the answer is a bunch. Nathan was riding in front, with music on, and still had sense to turn around and watch me tumble. All this in front of a lunch-time crowd at the station. All I suffered was a bit of a scratch on the leg (going down with 4 panniers protecting you is like falling over in a sumo-suit) and a bruised ego. The scratch burnt with the salt water today while playing at the beach in Playa del Carmen, so it may never heal. And, I don’t have particularly high hopes for my ego either.

It is a hard life I have chosen. Constantly putting myself at risk riding busy roads under the relentless sun just to go from one beach town to another. If they could just make the sand a bit whiter, and maybe a spec finer as well, it would be worth it. And what is up with all these people wandering around in bikinis, I am trying to live a hard life here, with lots of struggle, pain and adversity. Don’t fret, I should be able to muster up enough strength to push on to another coastal town tomorrow where the Mayans used to play.

2 Responses to “Ready, Set, Restart!”

  1. Barb says:

    I wonder if you crashed because you were looking at all the bikini clad women. I’m sure it’s pretty “lonely” on a bike! Just wondering!!!

  2. Becca MacDogg says:

    You are a goof!! At least the busy roads are flat and dry this year, remember where you were and what the roads were like exactly a year ago?? It’s nice to know you aren’t the star of Ice Road Bikers this year. Glad to hear you are back on the southbound track 🙂 Miss you!

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