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cycling Baja California Tag

Is Mexico safe for bicycle touring?

“Is it safe?”, ”Aren’t there Cartels and drug wars?”, ”How are the drivers and how are the roads?”

Those are just a few questions, we recieved from friends and family, when we announced our bicycle touring plan through Mexico. After all, we can not call it a Pan-American bike tour, without cycling through Mexico.

Ciudad Insurgentes to La Paz. 146 miles

As we check our map, we realize, that our cycle tour of the Baja peninsula is soon coming to an end. According to there are 146 miles left to make it to La Paz. From there we plan on taking a ferry over to mainland Mexico. The route will basically cross the Baja peninsula one last time. There is a little bit more climbing envolved, which at least is not as high and steep as the previous climbs. We also notice that there are really no facilities between these two places, so we try to pack some extra food and lots of water for the ride.

The long climb to SanJavier and spending a night at the Goat Farm. 31 miles

“Buena Suerte!” those are the words our hotel owner says when we tell him about our bicycle route out of Loretto. The plan is to turn inland to see the mission in San Javier from there we want to cycle over to the other side of the Baja peninsula. The hotel owner, who also happens to be a cyclist, tells us that the road to San Javier is nicely paved but all uphill. However, the rest of the route is supposed to be unpaved, has a lot of rocks, and is “Muy feo” ( very ugly).

Santa Rosalia to Mulege, it’s a doggie dog world, 45 miles

Since it’s been getting warmer the further south we cycle on the Baja Peninsula, we try to get going early again. Sometimes we are more successful than others. Although we try to get on the road as soon as possible, there are small setbacks, such as no breakfast or stores opening before 8:00 am.
We do manage to push our bikes out of the hotel and toward the colorful “ Santa Rosalia” sign shortly after 9:00.

Guerrero Negro to San Ignacio, 92 miles

It’s a boring straight stretch of 50 miles from Guerrero Negro to Vizcaino. The surrounding area is pretty flat and desolate. There are hardly any cacti to adore. The only steady companion along this mundane part of the Highway is the long row of telephone poles, which sometimes decorate the left side other times the right side of the road and intermittently we have the pleasure to ride between two lines of poles.

Leaving San Felipe and Making it to the Cow Patty, 57 miles

The wind has picked up significantly over the last few hours. According to the weather report it is supposed to calm down again in another day or two.

So, we decide to spend a well deserved down day about 5 miles north of San Felipe. 
The hotel is conveniently located right next to a small restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner with delicious meals for very reasonable prices.

Finally leaving Ensenada, Ensenada to Ojos Negros, 27 miles

The morning, that we get to leave Ensenada has finally arrived. Since we already packed most of our things last night, we just slip on our clothes and head down to the OXXO for coffee. Afterward, we sit out back for a quick breakfast snack. Then it is time to finally pull our bikes out of the room and to secure all of our belongings onto our trusty, steely steeds.

Searching for Help

This morning we wake up with only one thought on our mind…..getting Ron’s back wheel fixed.

So after a short walk to the neighborhood OXXO to get our morning coffee and pastry, we sit on the back patio of the motel and have breakfast.

Our First Full Day of Cycle Touring the Baja  California, Tecate to Ranch Sordo Munro Campground, 35 miles

It’s been somewhat of a restless night. Since the campground is near the road we had quite a bit of traffic noise at first. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for the traffic to quiet down and eventually we didn’t hear any cars anymore. Unfortunately, the peace and quiet was frequently disturbed by all the neighborhood dogs barking throughout the night.

We wake up early, before sunrise, thanks to another cacophony of dog barking and the traffic picking back up. Sleepy, we crawl out of our tent and make our morning coffee. Shortly after sunrise we are packed up and ready to roll…a personal record on this trip so far. We must be excited to continue our cycling tour to Ensenada.