|Newsletter - 2009 Archive|
People were wondering where Ian had gotten to. He was around last fall, and then did a bunch of permanents, was at the spring social, and then suddenly he was gone. Turns out he had gone on a walk-about. Here's the unauthorized posting of a message which Cheryl Lynch forwarded to the forum.
I'm happy to hear there is interest in
my progress and am more than happy to share my progress to the
Rando list. I've added a couple more thousand or so kilometres
since our last exchange (now 7500km). I continued through Mexico
keeping to the Pacific coast. It was incredibly hot through August
and if I am sure my hill climbing abilities have improved. In
Mexico I seemed always to be climbing hills. There was one particular
hill out of Puerto Vallarta to a town called El Tuito that
was 30kms long in up to 40 degree heat. Not sure what the elevation
was, but it was high. After a few more weeks, I turned in the
direction of San Cristobal, Chiapas (still Mexico) - a 50km continuous
climb to well over 2000 metres. I´d already ridden 40kms
before I started that climb. I had trouble
From San Cristobal, I rode to Palenque
to see the Maya ruins. Then made may way to Guatemala. I left
Mexico at a small town - had to find the immigration officer
to stamp me out of the country (he was busy watching TV) before
loading my bike in a canoe type vessel to cross the river that
marks the border. Then crossed into Guatemala and hit the worst
road I´ve ever ridden on. Up to that border crossing, I
had covered 7000km with a total of six flats. In the 70km from
the Guatemalan border town until I almost hit asphalt, I had
seven pinch flats, exhausting my supply of spares. At the seventh
flat, I was only 5km from where the asphalt started. I hitched
a ride with the Guatemalan police to the next town (Las Cruces,
about 20km) and set about trying to repair at least one tube.
The pinch flats had put big holes in the tubes and patches wouldn´t
hold. 700 tires and tubes are
The climate is cooler here as I´m at around 1300 metres above sea level and the town is friendly. From here, I intend to head to El Salvador and keep heading south. A friend in Vancouver is organizing the shipment of a couple of new tires (Scwalbe Marathon XR ´s, 35mm) and I have high hopes for their performance on less than ideal road surfaces.
The bike is doing amazingly well for all the abuse it has taken and the almost complete lack of maintenance it has received. Next time though, I might seriously consider a 26¨wheel tourer. With the weight of all my gear, I don´t think the 700 wheels offer any particular speed advantage and are almost certainly slower on rough roads. Still, they mean that I have to be careful.
I still think Vancouver to Cabo San Lucas or vice versa would be wicked permanent.
Thanks again for checking on my progress. Hope all is well in the BC Rando world.
Cabo San Lucas
October 3, 2009