Day 5: Christmas Eve. To P.P. Prieta

Jan 11th 2012 — Baja Peninsula,Biking — 12:39 pm

The previous night the couple renting us the hotel room mentioned a possibility of 60mph winds the next day. We didn’t think much of it at the time.

In the morning we had birria and set down the road in what was already a windy day. About 10 miles later the road came up over a large hill and into a tremendous headwind that required serious pedaling to go anywhere. The road changed direction, entered a valley, and the headwind turned into the most intense crosswind I have ever experienced in my life.

Biking in a straight line required seriously leaning into the wind. The gusts at this point we thought were around 60 or 70 mph. You would be doing your best to bike in a straightish fashion and a gust would come along and the feeling was as if someone was giving you a hard push off the road. The road was elevated with no shoulder and the consequences of failing to stay on pavement would not have been pleasant. When the gust stopped you would inevitably over-correct and go back to the left, which was occasionally in the direction of an oncoming 18-wheeler.

It was scary.

We stopped at a pullout and just standing upright required focus. Everyone agreed biking in winds comparable to a tropical storm was not safe. We found a spot that was sheltered from the wind and layed down in the dirt and thought about what we should do. I distinctly remember thinking what was wrong with me that this was how I decided to spend my Christmas. After about an hour and a half of feeling more trapped by the weather than I ever had in my life, we decided to try to get a ride.

Leaving our sheltered spot and approaching the road, it was evident that the wind had died down considerably. I suggested we try biking in it and, if we felt it was unsafe, get a ride.

Biking in a 30mph wind turned out to be reasonable.

As an early Christmas present, for the last hour and a half of daylight, the wind was directly at our backs. We biked 25 miles in a little over an hour as the sun dipped below the mountains. After the events of earlier, biking at 30mph in relative peace (since you were matching the direction and speed of the wind) was amazing.

We spent Christmas Eve camping near several large cacti on the outskirts of the small town of P.P. Prieta. The evening was calm and we were able to have our first campfire of the trip.

2 Comments »

  1. IZ PICTURE 5 BEFORE WE TOOK THE REST AT THAT SPOT, OR RIGHT BEFORE WE WENT ON RIDING?
    THE LAST 25 MS OR SO WERE DREAM TOURING MS WHILE THE SUN SET.

    Comment by Busy S — January 13, 2012 @ 11:02 pm
  2. Picture 5 was right before we took that rest SON. That’s why you look so excited.

    Comment by Michael Sulock — January 14, 2012 @ 9:12 am

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