(October 16 – written by Dave)
We created a new LWOP rule today. For years we’ve had the “Wet feet rule” – that is, if your feet are wet at the end of the day, you don’t have to camp, you can get a hotel room. Today’s new rule is called the “Over 100 rule” – that is, if it is over 100 degrees in the shade when you finish the day, you don’t have to camp, you get a hotel room. When we finished the ride today, it was officially 102 degrees in the shade of a Pemex station – so rather than camping at the Kadekaman Hotel, we have a nice room with A/C.
There are other cyclists here tonight and I think that they are all camping. Perhaps they have the “Over 105 degree” rule. They are younger and not as soft as Nancy and I. The other cyclists are previously introduced Nina and Martin, plus three women from Canada. We had heard about 2 women from Canada but when we ran across them this morning, they’d grown to three. A third friend just arrived to join them in Guerrero Negro today. We got a photo of them, but somehow missed their names. We’ll get all those details later I’m sure.
And the other two cyclists that we’ve been riding with – Frederik and Seb – are now one day ahead of us. They left our hotel yesterday morning after we had brekkie with them. It’s great that they are ahead because Frederik is using “Nancy’s hotel list” but validating her notes and giving us a real-time updates. This saves us time. But even better, Frederik and Seb are travelling with the “Over 100 rule” and stayed at the Kadekaman Hotel last night – we knew in advance what to pay and if it was nice.
So, back to today’s ride… It was mostly flat and not overly picturesque. We had about 40k of basically flat, no trees or cactus, just scrub and a very straight road. We made good time here even with our slightly late start out of Guerrero Negro. Morning tea was taken at a hole in the wall shop in Los Laguneros – don’t try looking it up – it is really nothing but a couple houses.
After tea the wind came up and we had a pretty strong headwind for a spell, at least 30k, until we turned to the south. Nancy was slogging it out on front, while I studied my Spanish – I eventually figured the wind out and hopped on the front, with some kind words to the affect – “what took you so bloody long”. Fair enough, I should pay better attention! (Senior editor comment – I was biting my tongue waiting for him to take his turn at the front in the wind and he’s back there studying! Well, he probably does need to study a bit harder…)
During this spell we came across what looked like road construction and a backup of cars. It turned out to be a big truck that had lost its load of pre-fabbed steel and there was a big crane trying to get it all reloaded. The crane blocked traffic in both directions and there were guys with flags stopping traffic. I didn’t say flaggers and this was not a Canadian project – in other words people who wanted to drive their cars off into the sand on the side of the road to get around the mess were more than welcome. And us, not wanting to wait in the hot sun, well, we simply walked our bikes through the sand on the side of the crane. No one seemed to care that this was an active work site and that very heavy steal parts were being moved around. No OSHA here I guess. We didn’t mind as traffic really died down, trucks could not get passed.
With a slight break in the wind, we rode the last 10k without difficulty. That is except for the heat. By now we were in the desert proper and it was really hot. Nancy registered 112F on her bike computer just before we rolled into town. And as noted, it only dropped to 102 when we reached the shade at the Pemex station. We powered through a couple iced teas and some cool water before heading across the street to the Kadekaman Hotel. We debated camping for about 3 seconds before someone (I’m not saying who) came up with the aforementioned brilliant new rule (Senior editor note – and it wasn’t me…but I was happy to hear of the new rule. There has to be a reason we worked hard all of those years!). After showers we had the bicyclist special tacos in the hotel restaurant and settled back into our now nicely cooled room. The Austrian and Canadian cyclists are outside camping. We’ll go say hi to them later, once it cools off. For now, we are happy with our cool room and fantastic new LWOP rule.
Tomorrow we continue our way back across the peninsula and are off to a small town called San Ignacio. There is supposed to be a laguna in (or near the town) so we think it may start to green up a bit again. We are going to make an early start though, to avoid having to spend too much time in the heat. There is a Casa de Cyclista in San Ignacio (a place where cyclists camp) that is supposed to be fun, but we’ll see how the weather is when we get there. Frederik is going to text us the details later today once he arrives – it’s great having a scout ahead of you on the road!
(Senior editor comment – funny about that new rule. Dave has hit his toe on the foot of the bed at least three times so far so there is a price to be paid in addition to $$!)