The Baja Divide is a 1700 mile mostly off pavement bike ride in Baja California. Begining in the north and following the spine of the Sierra. This time of year, it is both hot and dry in the lower elevations and very cold in the higher elevations. I was at 4200 feet in the north when my water bottles froze over one night. I was not prepared. Thankfully, I have a host of very good friends and supportive family. A good friend managed to send me one of my warmer sleeping bags so I could continue. It was a good lesson in planning. Note to self: “Self, read up on climate for intended destinations.”
I like to think the circles I move in are for the most part enlightened. And they are. However, it is both entertaining as well as somewhat disconcerting to watch when I begin to describe upcoming adventures. It seems as though people listen and follow along for a few minutes as I describe in some detail the plan, the climate and terrain. At some point I leave them behind. Their eyes glaze over and I can see them drifting back to their own realities. I’m OK with this. Hey, people have lives! There are shopping and to do lists. For many people this is so far out of their reality that it comes across as non sense. To some it probably is.
The hardes part is I don’t fully get it either.
This route is difficult for me. It’s rough, rocky and remote. Water is always at the forefront of my mind. I sure hope that Personal Locator Beacon really works. I hope I never need it! I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that, I have other things on my mind.
Like the constant second guessing myself. And the mental energy it takes to get past the panic on waking up and thinking about the road ahead. I have to work on flipping the whole thing on it’s head and instead of asking “What can go wrong”? I ask, “What adventure does today hold?” And just how much adventure is
The wind hás been blowing hard the past few days. For the most part it’s been a tail wind but not always. And the dust in the air is thick, the sand hás a tendency to scour exposed skin. Health clubs could make a killing in marketing facial sandblasting.
Breakfast consists of peanut butter, dried fruit and stale tortillas. Add a little sand to give it some texture. In Utah, we call that Anasazi seasoning. Lunch and dinner are pretty much the same as I can’t be bothered to cook. Just more stuff to keep track of.
Mostly it feels amazing when I get on the bike and ride. It’s great! Except when it isn’t.
I remember at one point cycling across Missouri in 95 degredes with 70% humidity I saw some hemlock and thought, “Now that could end this ride quickly!”
Or more recently, “I could chuck this fucker (my bike) off a cliff and report it stolen.” But that just wouldn’t satisfy.
The truth is I don”t know how NOT to do this.
Thanks for reading.