Mexico riding – from Dave Moseley

I have been in Keno, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez now just over three weeks, complete with new aluminium Dahon 26” wheel folder. I am staying with a friend in his RV (recreational vehicle), in a Park right on the beach, though any comparison with camping, as I knew it, should be completely dismissed. Luxury abounds.
The bike has proved very acceptable, light, easily and quickly folded to fit car boot, bus or train, though I have not had to do this often. My hope is that I will be able to bring it back to UK to enlarge my cycling vista.

Riding here is different in every way to my road riding back home, and though just as enjoyable, it is very limited in scope, and would not encourage any new cycling converts. There is a severe litter problem in the village and on road and track sides, but the locals are always helpful, and smiling, with a wave and “Buenos Dios”.

One problem is that there is literally only one paved road coming in to this small coastal village, from Hermosillo 100 km away, with a small town Miguel in between. The road is composed of long straight, almost flat sections with only a few bends, and no curves, so that there is always a view of several miles of nothing, and almost no traffic. To either side there is flat cactus covered desert, with a few distant rocky hilltops, but nothing else, not even a shack or farmhouse. My longest ride so far is 25 miles out and back, (My next aim is to make it into Miguel !)

All other ‘roads’ are actually either soft sandy tracks across the desert, carved out by 4x4’s, or hard corrugated mud tracks that occasionally get a grader dragged over them. As a consequence, either your brain rattles in your head in tune with the chain beating on the chainstay, or you are riding happily along when you come to an abrupt front-wheel-skidding stop in a patch of soft sand. Sometimes a walk is the only option. The cactus spines are everywhere and in my first 200 miles I have had two punctures. (fat tyres too). There are no maps and even Google shows where roads are going to be.

All this sounds very negative, but the riding is different, and the scenery and atmosphere when I did struggle to reach the hills/mountains was well worth the effort. Up high there seemed to be a complete stillness, no sound whatever, nothing even remotely moving, and a debilitating dry heat. My time for that 18 miles was 4 hours including banana and bottle stops.
There are also tracks that parallel the beach both ways including an estuary that supports all sorts of bird and fish life. Several fish shacks and shellfish farms are very interesting, and if you like fish or shellfish, two very primitive cheap restaurant/shacks.

The beach is generally hard when the tide recedes, very rideable, but I have yet to persuade myself to take my shiny new steed on to the salty sand littered with sharp shells of many varieties. Oh, and the dogs lying in the middle of the road are either dead, or too lazy to chase bikes.
On one of my paved road rides I was pleased to see, passing the opposite way, a group of five team-jersey clad racing cyclists with a following car and trailer, spare bikes and wheels. The sponsors name that I remember seeing on a cycle shop as I drove through the next small town, is another reason for my next long ride venture.

The nights are down to 45 deg, but the hot sun shines every day from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm, around the high 70’s , I’m told the last rain fell three years ago, the sunsets are fabulous, happy hour is from 4 to 5, I’m only paying the food bills, and I sleep like a log.
I still have another three weeks to explore the area, a Seri Indian settlement I would like to reach, and many identical tracks into empty desert that must lead to somewhere?
David Moseley.

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