Unfortunately, I had a late start for my long day of riding. I woke up to pack my gear before the sunset. My goal was to ride out by 6:30, I rode off a exactly 7. The road was packed with morning traffic so I rode the sidewalk, which was a dirt-and-gravel-mess. Already lost- I couldn’t find the road to the highway. At a corner, I tried to call Dani but the call couldn’t be completed. I had to locate a store that could add minutes to my cell- found it on the 3rd try. The total waste of time took me almost 90 minutes just to leave the city that I was already south of..So much for an early start.
On the highway, during the morning, was the part of the day I enjoyed the most. The road was flat and no traffic. An empty and scenic ride through the desert. I was very happy about this and imagined the rest of my day to go smoothly, I expected at the rate I was going, I would arrive by 2- 3pm the latest.
I took hour long break to recharge my energy with my rice-n-beans bag and sweet yams. I tested an effective dog repellent on the cute pup that was getting a little to close-squirting with the water bottle. Back on the road, the first major inconvenience rolled up behind me- a clunky old truck, slowly passing me. He took up both lanes and proceeded to move right in front of me. The exhaust pipe blew thick black smog on me. COME ON!
From the afternoon to the end of the day- was a horrendous ride. There were sharp turns after another. There was no shoulder, so I took extreme caution and would dismount from the bike to walk it on the white line- what little road room I had- walking on the gravel or prickly shrubs. At 2pm, the gas station security guard estimated 42 more kilometers. A sign past the station stated the same. So at the rate I was going, I expected 4 pm. It could have been an off-marked road, could have been the many stops I made to let traffic pass or walk my bike- that was a very long 40 kilometer stretch. It increasingly became a a game of ride, listen for traffic, dismount, wait, QUICK- RIDE! The traffic and semis increased as the day was ending. I saw a large truck tire remain laying on the left side of the road. I was afraid that as I would pass it, the oncoming drivers might get into an accident by trying to dodge me or the tire. So I ran to the tire when it was cleared and pulled it off the road. I felt better that I could help eliminate that possible traffic accident on the highway.
The sun was falling and there was no sign of Guaymas in sight. I called my next host, Erick, to ask if he could estimate the remaining distance. He said at the next recognizable gas station would be 10 kilometers from there. The sun was hanging over the mountains cutting my daylight short. I was ready to pitch a tent and hide in the vast shrubs.. but a chimichanga somewhere in Guyamas was calling me- so I pushed myself to finish! I was thankful I did. Past that gas station was the turn off for the following city, Obregon. After the turn off the traffic quieted down. I cheered my self on, I could see the city ahead, just in time to see the sun set over Guaymas. The cool ocean air rewarded me by cooling my overheated and weary body. The sun had set as I entered Guaymas and I was smiling all the way into town. Fortunately I had a wide shoulder to ride on when the traffic was backed up. The city was alive with pedestrians crossing, mariachi music loudly playing, and traffic backed up at every street. The jagged mountains and a nearly full moon was a gorgeous backdrop to the bustling city. Erick found me at the street that I was to turn on to get to his home. He carried the trailer in his car and drove behind me to guard me from the traffic on the sharp turn. With the weight off, I sped straight to his home with remaining directions in a minute.
That was my longest day of riding in my life- 12 hours, total. It was probably one of the few days that I had to endure intense traffic with no shoulder. It was also the most I had to ride off the road or walk my bike. Despite the conditions, it was also my best day of confidently riding alone. According to my friend Britney (who rode this before) she says this was the one of few very dangerous roads and it was as if I passed one of the few road trials. Success!