Wednesday, November 18, 2009

North Vancouver to Tijuana Mexico by bike

I heard that someone had ridden from Vancouver to Mexico in ten days.I saw a four day sunny weather window,I figured the further south I would go the weather would get better, using the fast and light approach.One North Face Spire 32 pack.I wasn't interested in panier's or bob trailers.I wanted to enjoy the ride more and be able to giver on the downhills and climb fast on climbs.While riding riding the ferry over to Victoria I read about Lena Rowat who rode from Florida to San Diego on a cheap bike, and many other epics like ski touring from Vancouver to Alaska, along with the late Deep Cove original Guy Edwars.So that gave me confidence that I could ride a $5000 bike down the coast.It couldn't be as hard as trying to climb a big mountain. I figured where you have to freeze and carry all your own food.Riding through Washington was cold and I tagged the coast for just a few moments.Logging trucks were raging by, but they were pros and made sure to give lots of room when passing.They just scared the crap out of me when they drove by on the narrow shoulders.Entering Oregon the bike friendly area was a night mare crossing the bridge into Astoria.Where I decided to wait for cars to pass and as they did I would sprint ahead till next car came by.A few people were doing the ride from all over Belgium,Seattle,Ireland.Some people had ridiculous loads,especially the guy from Ireland he attempted to hang his food in the tree from the rats, but they still got to it.I saw him that day passed out on the grass, he had long way to go.The best section was the Southern part of Oregon epic beaches not too many people.Clean and pristine.Entering California after many slogging days it was cold.I just noticed a trailer with a Mcconkey sticker on it.I figured it must be ski movie tour.After climbing another road off the highway I ran into Jackie who was part of the McConkey Poole Poore benifit ride from Seattle to San Diego.For injured and passed away skiers.It was fun to ride with the group for awhile and get rid of my green pig that was on my back.It turns out a few of the members we're base jumping along the way off some of the high bridges.It would have been pretty cool to see these guys jump live off one of the bridges.They were even jumping in there road cycling gear.I was trying to stay on my 100 mile riding day average so I left the group and took off for Sausalito.After a couple days of mountain biking in the Mt.Tam area, where the mountain bike was invented.Too bad they don't let you ride the single track there, and you can even get a speeding ticket if you ride too fast.I hooked up with the Mcconkey crew once again in San Francisco and it would be an epic road ride in the head wind but it worked well doing a wicked echelon with Dave Steiner and Pep Fujas, we cruised into Santa Cruz.One of my favorite spots in California.A few years ago my brother and I did a training camp here training on mountain bikes eating Whoppers and Raman noodles.My brother even saved my K-car one day when after pumping the gas I left to pay and it started rolling back and my Mike came in and saved it.The next day was a late start with the big crew who we're getting ready for the big climb up past Big Sur.Few people rolled out and I followed I but ended up on the highway.Cars we're freaking out so I headed back inland, and just started hammering because I didn't have the green pig on my back, on one of the most scenic sections of the California coast lines.Next day with a wicked tail wind, which took us to a beach with hundreds of elephant seals.From here I cruised on my own for a couple of days and made it to Venice beach in the dark, too my surprise two hostels would not let me stay there with a bike.I was close to Los Angeles so I wasn't sure how safe it was going to be, but it worked out and I found and hostel and some needed the rest.Which included the famous Venice beach,climbing the rope at the outdoor gym,swimming in the ocean,sleeping at the beach,scoping the hot California girls in bikinis, and eating whatever I felt like.The next stage would be riding through and passed the famous beaches of southern California.A stop at Long Beach where I noticed a sign for West Coast Choppers.I was probably one of the few people to passed through there in there Euro trash cycling gear.Travel was great from here passed Huntington beach tail wind and flat terrain, until I arrived in Fort Bragg in the dark.Where the soldier asked me where I started and I said Canada and he said "No Thanks".I don't blame him after the section that was coming up.I missed the turnoff, and was forced to climb a twenty foot fence in my cycling shoes, and haul my bike up and over,I was just to tired and sketched out so I had no choice.Some time you just gotta giver eh.The final day was great relief, passes through beautiful beaches in San Diego but one more traffic filled section to the Mexican border,I crossed and didn't even realize I was in Mexico no one checked my passport.So local sent me to the highway where I was forced to walk and sprint the hell out of there to downtown, where I ate a bag of pastries, and had one deserved Corona from the local gangster serving beer.It was 6pm and time to leave and get back to the US,but it was a good feeling to be finally done chasing the finish line of the Mexican border.It's not about the finish but about the journey.Ya Doggie!

North Vancouver to Tijuana Stats:

1745.15 miles/2823 km
63460 feet of climbing
2 flat tires
3 tires
18 days riding to finish the route
1 rest day
10 100 mile plus days
Longest day 151.42 miles
2 days Sausalito mountain biking
2 days Santa Barbara road riding
2 days Venice Beach slothing,road riding
2 days San Diego slothing, road riding.






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