I have spent the last six days in Mexico riding with 3 friends up the east coast of the Sea of Cortez on fat bikes. In this part of the world, it is pretty normal to encounter some random road blocks or check points along the way. In the past I have found that these stops, for the most part, tend to be brief and fairly friendly when you travel by bike.
On day 4 we left the wind and sand of the Colorado river delta behind us and worked our way inland towards the US border. Later in the afternoon we encountered one final military check point. I was a bit nervous because this seemed a little more serious than all the other townie stops we had encountered earlier and I didn’t quite know what to expect when our gang of four rolled up on these clown bikes. Plus, I tend to get a little uncomfortable any time people around me have machine guns.
What happened next was probably one of the most memorable moments of the entire tour.
We cut our way through the line of waiting cars and trucks to the first soldier we saw. I asked nicely if we could bypass the line since we were on bicycles, and he waved us on to the next group of soldiers. We rolled up to the line 2 at a time. We answered the same questions we have been answering for the past 4 days but this time they seemed a little more interested in the distance we had covered (250km at that point). Bags were fondled and searched and even a couple laughs were exchanged. Then out of nowhere a soldier grabs Devon’s bike and rides away without saying a word. The soldier rode around for maybe a minute but it seemed like an eternity when we didn’t know what was going on. He bounced on the tires, shifted some gears, and then eventually handed it back grinning ear to ear. Then we were waved through and sent on our way. But not before we got this sneaky little photo:
I am absolutely shattered from this trip. Mother Nature beat us down real good out there in the desert. I will get to a full report as soon as I can think straight again. I am finding that getting back to “real life” is particularly hard this time around.by