Today is the first cycling day of my Latin American travels. I’ll be honest I was apprehensive and excited – ready to travel, yet not quite ready enough. I learned in the first year that you are never “ready enough” and if you postpone beginning till you are ready, you’ll never begin.
And so I began my journey. I left my parents at the Hotel del Rio in Mazatlàn and headed on my way out of the city, towards the airport, on what I now know as “home”…aka Highway 15. This is the road that will take me all the way to Morelia, which means I don’t have to think too much about my directions, since it’s just one highway.
I had a lot of questions as I started out this morning:
Would people be as welcoming as in the USA and Canada?
Is my Spanish good enough to be understood?
Do I still love cycling?
Am I still in shape after 3 months off?
The answer to all but the last is a definitive YES. I soon had all my apprehensions put at ease. People honked (in the good sort of way), waved, and smiled at me more than usual, which was wonderful to experience! They also were really interested in my story, where I am from, why am I doing this, etc.
Despite all this, I wondered, will people be generous? The answer came in the form of a man in a truck.
The man, Felipe, stopped and brought me two Gatorades, gave me some money, his email address, and the instructions that if I ever need anything in Mexico, just let him know. (I’m not sure if he meant the Mexico the country or Mexico the city). I then asked Felipe if he knew anyone in Morelia where I could leave my bike for a week when I return to Florida on Oct. 6th. He said for sure, he knows people who will make sure my bike is “Bien Segura, which directly translates as “well safe”.
He also brought the drinks just when I needed them.
Other than that, I’ll recap my day.
I started in Mazatlàn and ended in Tepic, but I only cycled 54 miles (someone gave me a lift).
I stopped in the town that is the birthplace of the first Mexican NBA player – Horacio Llamas
Carlos and his wife of 3 months gave me a ride to Tepic.
I realized my body is slightly out of shape. I can still cycle, but not 80 miles at the speed I’m used to. The good news is that the ride Carlos gave me puts me ahead of schedule so I can take time to build up my stamina again.
Right now I’m staying in a hotel- I thought I’d ease myself back into the journey and not jump straight from life at home to extreme life on the road. The hotel was cheap – cheap enough that you don’t want to know how little it cost. The good news is it does have a moveable fan mounted on the ceiling. I have room 107, and had to haul my bike up some stairs only to realize the bike can’t fit through the door. Haha!
I thought I’d include two photos with this journal entry – one of my leg tan-line after only 1 day, and one of the view from my room! I hope you enjoy!