Pioneering a Trail Around the Sea of Cortez
Some close friends of Kaenon, including Travis McMaster, recently took quite a trip on FatBikes, sporting Kaenon sunglasses, Hard Kore White G12 the entire way. We’re going to let the story come straight from the source on this one. Straight from Travis’ journal comes a set of great photos and story-telling, below. Enjoy the read:
“Let me paint you a picture. You’re on a soft sandy beach with clear turquoise water. The beach stretches 100 yards in front and behind you. There’s a point with a gaggle of Pelicans resting. The air temperature is 70 degrees and the sky stretches across the watery horizon as far as you can see. The road that brought you to this point is made up of tiny crushed sea shells as if it were leading you to Neptune’s castle. You’ve probably imagined this or even experienced it vacationing on a remote tropical island somewhere in the world.
This point in particular does exist in the real world and is merely a 4 day beach ride away from Cholla Bay, Mexico located just outside El Gulfo Santa Clara at the tip of the Sea of Cortez.
The 4” tires on the FatBikes allowed us to ride on the fine sands of Mexico without expending extra energy or walking great lengths loaded down. Although the bikes weighed nearly 80 lbs, riding it was as easy as riding a bike along a canal or dirt road.
The first day started with rain which dissipated in the early afternoon. Chris Reichel, Joe Berman, Devon Balet and I set off from JJ’s Cantina in Cholla Bay loaded down with about 76lbs of gear, food and water. There is no person to my knowledge that has ridden a bicycle from Cholla Bay to Rios San Louis Colorado. In fact, without the assistance of the 4” tires on the rigs we rode, it is inconceivable that any one has even attempted it.
As we rode along a road paved in beautiful white seashells I wondered if they could possibly puncture my tire. I kept this thought to myself until several minutes later; Devon asked “I wonder if these shells can puncture our tires”. Psss-sss-ssssst. Just as I crossed one of the many brackish fingers of the Colorado delta a shell lodged itself into my tire creating a nickel sized hole. Luckily we packed several spare tubes, patch kits and CO2 for tire repairs. Devon ended up having 7 flat tires during the trip. I guess some things should be left unspoken.
When we reached Mexico Hwy 3 we soon realized that tire pressure played an important role in energy conservation. While we rode on the beaches, we lowered our tire pressure to about 10psi. Just as if you were driving your SUV in the Outer Banks, NC…the lower the tire pressure, the greater the “patch” or surface are on the sand thus allowing you better traction. After riding for about 10 miles on the highway we stopped and increased our tire pressure back up to the recommended 30psi.
Here’s a breakdown of my gear:
Kaenon Hard Kore G12, cowboy hat (sunshade), POC helmet, 600oz of water, 1 Jet Boil (for boiling water FAST), 8 packets of Tuna, 4 freeze dried breakfast, 6 freeze dried dinners, up to a 12pack bottled beer, 10 packets of Maple Butter, tortillas, first aide kit (Mylanta, Pepto, Zantac, etc) video camera, phone, Ipod, solar panels (to charge stuff), external speakers, bivy sack, down sleeping bag, sleeping pad, down jacket, rain jacket, thermal tights and top, wool cap, full finger gloves, 3 pair cycling shorts, 6 pair socks, toiletries, sun block, 8 CO2 cartridges, and secret money stash in the hand pump
Riding for 8 hours a day on a bike tour allows you time to soak in your surroundings and think about where you’re going to sleep at night or if where exactly your route is leading you…
The sunset looked like a modern day Normal Rockwell picture. Just taking timeout to watch the sunset before we figure out where we were going to sleep. Priorities.
After spending the night at Los Pinos fishing camp under the fish cleaning structure, we set out to the highway to make up some miles from our late start early in the week. When we reached the highway about a half mile off the dirt road, the winds were gusting up to45+mph, picking up sand and moving it across the highway. Chris asked “had anyone seen the movie Hidalgo?” Imagine pedaling a 76lb bike with a profile of a small car through 45mph head winds. I didn’t realize but I was leaning to my bike 10degrees off center fighting to keep the wheels turning. There was a point that we stopped and all decided that since we had traveled 4 miles in 2 hours, that we should explore all transportation options. Turns out $20 will get you almost anywhere in Mexico. A couple of commuting bank tellers stopped to help out. Apparently the 90kph speed limit signs are merely suggestions.
That night we caught a break at a hotel in El Gulfo Santa Clara. We ordered two entrées each and several rounds of cerveza. You see on a trip like this where you don’t have any idea where you’re going to sleep or where your next meal is coming from, your self-preservation instincts kick in. We loaded up on Bimbo cinnamon rolls, Oreo cookies, chips and other goodies for the rest of the trip and headed out.
Literally 1k from the boarder Joe got his first flat. Ugh. Throughout the trip when someone got a flat tire, we all saw it as an opportunity to sit down or have a bite to eat. There were never any negative feelings in these situations, just down time. Many of those times, I saw the opportunity to journal the day’s happenings.”Bike, Sports-Entertainment.
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