Work in progress, just a place holder as of 2/2/18
For the third year in a row, I rode a peddle bike in Cancun in January. I was there from Monday the 8th until Monday the 22th. I rent a small Airbnb apartment in downtown Cancun and ride every morning on the Hotel Road with the locals at 6am. I spend the rest of the day eating, drinking, walking around and getting ready to repeat. The riding is too fast for me and I continue to get dropped though I did ride some days with a slower group. I found a new Beer Bar and visited it most nights. My accommodations were good and even provided some socialization. I used taxi’s a lot and explored beer south of Cancun.
This vacation is a prime example of my love of a theme trip. I am doing something that involves the local community. I can visit museums, beaches, churches, but that is not my purpose. My focus is riding. I also ride in LA in February and Portugal in March but this is the trip that defines me. I do a lot of things, as you can see on this web site, but this is the one that is the most challenging and I am proudest of.
Lets start with the riding, since that is why I visit! As you can learn from the 2016 and 2017 write ups, anyone who enjoys riding road bikes at 20+ MPH in Cancun meets at the head of the hotel road a little after 6am. A man who I only saw twice?, Doug, who contracts to lead rides for my bike rental company, Elite Cyclery, said that a couple riders had been killed last year. Not on the actual hotel road but close enough to get people’s attention. Since then, people have banded together to provide a chase van every day except Monday. And most days there were 2 or more vehicles.
I arrived Tuesday and road wed-friday. My experience was that I was getting dropped earlier and earlier on each ride! So, I took Saturday off. Admittedly Saturday is the best day. Most likely to attract women and other less serious riders who might even keep me company! Of course we will never know but it seemed to help. Sunday I was in better shape and better able to keep up.
In 2016 and 2017, I always just road with the group that left from the start of the Hotel Road. I have always been aware that there must be slower groups riding elsewhere. In 2017 I met such a group in Puerto Morales and gave them my card but never made contact again. This year, a man who spoke English, Rubin ( like the sandwich, he says), showed up at the 6 am start and talked to me about also suffering from the speed. He said he often rode with a group he called the “Italians” who gathered at a bike shop across the circle. Google lists it as “Italia Probike”.
I started gathering with them. They seem to have a theme of training for Iron Man so they are saving some energy for the run and the swim. I certainly had trouble keeping up with them also but some days they road at a more Tom pace.
I also was lead to a new “route”. I met Wenceslao at the bar El Estradio, which you will hear lots about below. He actually engaged in conversation with me, claiming that he noticed my Armstrong bracelet, I was reading a tour DE France book and my legs. I am not sure I believe any of that but …. He said that his father had been an early racer and that he had been an early user of the hotel road. Wenceslao is about 55? He showed me that an unusually straight road heading south of Cancun, Av Huayacin, actually had a “bike path” in the median that was ride-able. On a Monday, when no one showed up to ride the Hotel Road, I went off road the 9K down and back. It was an interesting alternative. The surface is fine though the bushes on each side encroach. When I mentioned this find to some of my co-riders from the Italian shop, they said that they have indeed used it to get toward Puerto Morales and that I was being foolish to ride in the median. There was so little traffic that it was fine to ride on the road itself! I never tried this “road” riding instead of the median and I never got anywhere near the point where one would turn onto 180. But that route does get one around the Cancun airport.
One day the Italian group, instead of turning around at the end of the Hotel Road and retracing the route, kept going to Rt 307 and followed it back into town, past Plaza Les American, past my home plaza de Torus and to the start of the hotel road. At least port of the way they were able to take advantage of a service road along 307 that had a reasonable surface and much less traffic. A few days later I tried to ride this route in the opposite direction, to the Southern end of the Hotel Road. I got pretty far but was stymied by how to ride the last Ks. Again I later asked the Italians and I think if riding South, they actually ride on the side of 307 instead of using the service road that they use to come north from the end of the Hotel Road to Plaza Americas.
The menu below should allow you to investigate different aspects of my trip. Work in progress… Hope you enjoy!