Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written. Two months actually. I have been preparing for the last leg of the journey to Cabo. Actually I’ve been prepared but taking care of business and getting things done while waiting for Giuseppe. He took on a short term job in Northern California and will be heading south soon. Apparently a young lovely from Argentina has distracted him. He probably charmed her with his thick Italian accent.
While I’ve been waiting, I finished assembling my new and improved touring bike and made a few upgrades. My biggest concern after experiencing instability with my Scott mountain bike was frame strength and climbing ability. The Giant steel frame mountain bike is much stronger and stable. A new upgrade is a new crankset. The crankset is the front gear assembly on a bicycle. This bike came with a 28/38/48 tooth count set. After a little research, I determined that a reduction of teeth would offer a much better climbing ratio so I went with a 22/32/42 set. Yes, I probably should have done this to my Scott bike before undertaking Alaska, Canada and the Northwest, but this is one of those live and learn life lessons.
Another upgrade to the new bike is a set of fenders. I looked high and low online, but all I found were plastic aftermarket fenders. I had my heart set on stronger steel fenders like the old beach cruisers had, so I set out to find and old beach cruiser at a steal of a price. Well, ask and ye shall receive. On my trip down to Rosarito for the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride, I spent some time exploring an outdoor swap meet that happens every weekend. As luck would have it, I found an old, thrashed, rusted beach cruiser for $25. It had the fenders I was looking for but the owner would not sell me just the fenders. It was all or nothing so I bought the bike, removed the fenders and left the bike for the first passerby to claim it. I should have taken a picture of the old rust bucket, but I was too excited about those fenders that I forgot to click away.
Other additions to this bike are a new seat with a “relief area” down the middle to protect the family jewels, as well as an adjustable handlebar stem to move the handlebars forward. I also replaced the flag pole and Tibetan Prayer flags that I left on the bus outside of Portland Oregon.
At this point, my bike is ready to Rock and Roll. I’ve definitely reduced the quantity and weight of items to carry, but now my quandary is whether I should take my snorkeling gear or not. I keep thinking about the beautiful warm water beaches along the Baja gulf, full of large, colorful fish that may want to become dinner over an open fire some night. Hmmm. That or tacos and tequila as we roll south. We’ll see!
I can’t forget about another addition to my bicycle touring gear – to not feel inferior to my European riding buddies, an Italian style espresso maker. Yes, I’m moving up in the world! lol. I did have to complete that addition with a cool little espresso cup as well. I am definitely ready for the desert and beaches of Baja!
So as the colors of Autumn brighten Southern California, I will plug away on the spin cycle at the gym for the next couple of weeks until we begin the next 1,000 miles to Cabo San Lucas. Hopefully the Tijuana border will be open and the refugees from Honduras will be peacefully content with the decisions of the powers that be.
Giuseppe also mentioned that we will have a new riding buddy, Yvan from Quebec. Going by the photo I received, he may be our entertainment as we pedal through the deserts of Mexico.
Thank you for following me! I’ve been looking forward to the next leg of this journey… the warm desert air, the pristine beaches, the star filled skies and the friendly people of Mexico.