Archive for Januar, 2009


Samstag, Januar 31st, 2009



Guanajuato is an amazing city, but it‘ s hard to describe. Even the pictures can only show little of what it‘ s like here. If you are curious, just check it out on your own;-)))

What a day!

Freitag, Januar 30th, 2009


León – Guanajuato

When I finally left the hotel it was almost 11:30am! So, that didn‘ t change;-).

Cycling out of León wasn‘ t a problem, The road had 3 lanes in each direction which allowed the cars to pass me easily. Just the traffic lights were kind of annoying. The first 30km were great. The first time since… I can‘ t even remember… a long long time, I cycled on a mostly flat road!!! Though I had a slight headwind I had a blast. I pushed it and it was just so much fun to ride a bit faster for a while and see the kilometers fly by!

In Solao I passed the GM plant, then stopped in the shade of a tree for a small lunch to get ready for the hills I had to climb to get to Guanajuato. Looking at my trailer something didn‘ t look right – and I saw the flat tire. I changed the tube and found a piece of metal stuck in the wheel. Ok, no big deal, soon I was on the road again. 10 km further I heard a noise: sshhhhhhhhh – flat number 2, this time at the rear. A big piece of glass was stuck in the tire this time. Well, at least there was a shoulder and some shade from a tree. Changed the tube, a bit annoyed this time. 2 flats in a day… Then a car stopped and a maybe 11-year-old boy got out and asked me if everything was ok. Then he gave me a T-Shirt which said something about cycling and Guanajuato on it. It was a present for me! My spanish was only good enough for a short conversation but he didn‘ t mind and was very patient when he tried to tell me something and I didn‘ t understand it right away. That was one of those moments when I regret that I didn‘ t learn more spanish, yet.

Soon I was on the road again, it were only a few km to the pay-station for the Cuota. No problem getting through, but a cop made me stop. What did he want? Well, I saw the sign that said that bicycles were prohibited on the cuota, but so far nobody cared about it. It turned out that he was only curious about my trip, he asked me the usual questions, from where to where, how much time, how many kilometers, how many tires, alone…

Then I stopped at the Pemex (gasstation) to pump up my tires. Trying to find my way into the Guanajuato I asked some guys who stood at the side of the road for directions – and they even had a map of the city for me, which was very helpful. They showed me the way and said that I would have to cycle through some tunnels. Just after cycling through the first tunnel, which wasn‘ t very long, I a heard a familiar sound again: sshhhhhhhhh!!! I couldn‘ t believe it!!! Flat number 3!!! This time at the front tire where another piece of glass was stuck! Now I was getting mad but tried to tell me that it could‘ ve been worse: I was almost there, there was more then an hour of daylight left and it didn‘ t happen in a tunnel…

Since my spare tire already had a puncture in it I had to patch it. A while later I was back on the road, wondering what else could happen…

Then I had to cycle through a long tunnel, but it wasn‘ t too bad. There were even busstops down there!!! The tunnel dropped me out right in the center of Guanajuato, at the Union Jardin. Only a minute after getting there a guy walked over to me. His name was Andrew, he‘ s from Oklahoma and cycles as well. He started in Vancouver and stopped in Guanajuato for a while for a spanish class. So he gave me directions to the area where the hostels. So, finally the day wasn‘ t as bad after all…

Still in León

Donnerstag, Januar 29th, 2009



Thank you for all the birthday wishes!!!

It took me a while to decide if I wanted to leave León today or not. I didn‘ t feel like I wanted to cycle and since I liked the hotel I stayed and didn‘ t know what to expect in Silao I decided to stay. So I enjoyed another lazy day, reading the birthday mails I received, strolling around the city and drinking a few beers;-).


Mittwoch, Januar 28th, 2009



Well, I thought I would leave, but I didn‘ t. I walked around the City a lot, hang out at the Plaza and ate the worst food I had for a while at Mc Donalds;-).


Dienstag, Januar 27th, 2009


San Juan de los Lagos – León 

I left SJdlL at 10:30am. The first 30 kilometers were a lot different today. I had to share the shoulder of the road! Not with other cyclists but with pilgrims. They were all on their way to the cathedral in SJdlL. At 1 kilometer I counted 63 pilgrims! I‘ ve never seen something like that. The good thing about it was that there were Taco-Stands all over. Unfortunately I wasn‘ t hungry then and when I got hungry there was nothing to buy anymore. But my avocado-tuna-sandwich on the side of the road tasted pretty good, too. The negative thing about the pilgrims is that they just throw their garbage (empty bottles, cups, food-wraps) just down at the side of the road.

Again there were many up- and downhills today, the downhills fast and the climbs very slow. I wonder if I‘ ll ever get used to the climbing. After the pilgrims didn‘ t block the shoulder anymore the day became very unspectecular, though. I had a hard time and already thought that I wouldn‘ t make it to Leon before dark there was a sign that showed me the exit to León. When I left the Cuota I was very surprised that there was a bikepath in the middle of the road! Cycling there wasn‘ t much fun though, because there were many holes. So I decided to ignore the path and cycled on the road.

I found ,my way into the center and stopped to buy a much needed cold coke before I started to look for a Hotel. After staying at a cheap but pretty dirty place last night I looked for something nicer. Finally I found a great Hotel and when the guy at the reception saw my bicycle he gave me a bigger room for the same price. After a hot shower I walked to and around the Plaza for a while, bought a slice of Pizza for dinner and walked back to the Hotel. This City seems to be pretty nice, the Plaza/ Plazas are big and there‘ s a lot going on, people hanging out, musicians playing, many restaurants and coffeeshops.

Since I‘ ll probably leave tomorrow I won‘ t see that much of it though. I‘ m pretty exhausted after almost 900m of climbing today. Depending on what time I leave here tomorrow and how I like Silao, after around 30 km, I might as well make it a short day and stay there. But I‘ ll see that tomorrow.

Up and down…

Montag, Januar 26th, 2009

…there isn´t that much more to say about this day.


Tepa – San Juan de los Lagos

75 km, 4:38h, aver. sp. 16,1 km/h, 803 hm

After a few days in Tepatitlan, a city with an amazing character, I hit the road around 11 am. There wasn’t much to see, just some cows, some farmland and a lot of dry gras. Since Tepa and San Juan de los Lagos are at about the same elevation I had some great downhill rides, too, today. The traffic was quite heavy the first 10 km on the Libre. Then I got back on the Cuota and had a good shoulder again. People were friendly, the sky blue and the sun hot, that‘ s about it.

San Juan de los Lagos itself is a city with about 42000 inhabitants and between 4 and 7 million (!!!) pilgrims every year. Many of them just sleep outside the cathedral or on the sidewalks.

My destination for tomorrow is Leon, let‘ s see if I make it – the bets are pretty good though because there’s no reason here to stay another day.

Hasta luego


Believe it or not!

Donnerstag, Januar 22nd, 2009

I made it. out of Guadalajara!!!

Finally, after 4 weeks (a great time I don‘ t wanna miss!!!) at the Hostal de Maria in Guadalajara, I hit the road again.  It was already 10:45am when I left, it was very warm and there was a lot of traffic. But cycling wasn‘ t too bad, the car-, taxi- and busdrivers were very patient when I was in there lanes, I heard some friendly honks, saw many people wave at me and showing thumbs-up.

So it was a great start. When I left the city after 14km I had already climbed 200m. But I was sure there was more to come… Guadalajara is at 1400m elevation, Tepatitlán, my destination for the day, at around 1800m.

Getting on the Cuota was no problem though there was a sign saying that bikes are prohibited. Well, noone stopped me and I had a good shoulder to cycle on. The first 35 km just flew by, I was really enjoying my time back on the road! After 40 km I met a young guy from Mexico on his racing bike. He lives in Guadalajara and comes out there every day to train! It was nice talking to him, his english was better than my spanish – but that‘ s not very hard;-).

A while later I stopped for a short roadside lunch, a banana and a pastry. With new energy and still motivated I hopped back on my bike but the never ending climbs (then it was going down again) were taking its toll (after a few weeks without cycling) and I started to become cramps in my legs. So I slowed down a bit and finally left the Cuota at the exit to Tepatitlán. A nice downhill ride led me right into the city, to the town plaza where I checked into the first hotel I saw (250 Pesos/around 14 €). The guy who worked there helped me to bring my bike and trailer to my room where I slept, totally exhausted, for an hour or so. Then I took a long hot shower and walked a bit around the city to get something to eat. The city is very clean (I‘ ve necer seen such a clean city in Mexico!), the atmosphere is peaceful and friendly and the town plaza is very inviting to just sit there and hang out for a while. It‘ s a very charming city, worth a visit!

I‘ m not sure if I‘ ll be back on the road tomorrow, 77km and almost 1000m in elevation, it was a hard day for a new start.

But even if I ll stay here a day or too, there‘ s one thing I know for sure – I‘ ll be back on the road soon!!!

Keep pedaling


Wind of change…

Mittwoch, Januar 14th, 2009

During the last weeks and especially days I‘ ve been asked by other people here at the hostel or via e-mail by friends: “When will you be back on the road?”, “Are you gonna stay there forever?” and “Did you quit your bike-trip?”.

The answers are,” I don‘ t know when I‘ ll be back on the road.”, No, I‘ m definitely not gonna stay here forever.” and “I didn‘ t quit.”

I think I just needed a break, do something else than cycling everyday. Though I didn‘ t know that before I came here. I thought I would only stay for Christmas and then hit the road again. But sometimes things turn out in another way as expected. So I met many interesting people here and had (and still have) a great time. Besides exploring in Guadalajara I simply enjoy just to sit in a quiet corner and listen to some music, read a book and drink a cup of coffee. Maybe I needed something steady for a while.

Don‘ t get me wrong, I love to be out there, get up early, hit the road, climb up those hills, take pictures, meet new people and learn more about another culture, go to bed totally exhausted after a long day, then get up again the next day and do the same thing again – never knowing what the new day will bring. It‘ s awesome and I can‘ t think of anything I‘ d rather do now. I wouldn‘ t wanna exchange this for anything else. But I think I realized that this journey is not only about cycling… I might take it a little easier from now on.

A friend (THANK YOU!!!) found the right words when he wrote about my break here that I‘ m “lounging about in Guadalajara for a while waitin‘ for the wind to fill my sails again”. Moreover he wrote, “So, I see virtue in the way you continued your journey in Guadalajara while your bike, suddenly relegated to the inanimate soulless object it is without you, stood idle. You seem to be aware that the journey is grander than keeping the wheels turning. You may see your sojourn in Guadalajara in a completely different way once you’ve left, but the beauty of that little seeming distraction is that you have that distraction to contemplate along with all the other attractions from a thousand other points.”

That matches my situation, the way I feel right now so well that I just had to quote it here. I think my sails are finally filled with wind again and I‘ m ready to discover everything that is still waiting for me out there on and besides the road.

Moreover a new chapter begins. After cycling together with Sara and Sebastien for about 5 weeks I‘ ll cycle alone again. We‘ re still in contact and might eventually meet again somewhere goin‘ south.

I‘ m excited and looking forward to hit the road again.

Hasta luego


Takin‘ it easy in 2009

Samstag, Januar 3rd, 2009

Hola Amigos!

I can‘ t believe that I didn‘ t write anything for ages!!! And that I‘ m still in Guadalajara!!! I got here on december 22nd – and still didn‘ t move (only from a greedy hotel to the nice hostal de maria).

If someone had told me I would stay for more than 2 weeks in the second biggest city of Mexico – I would have called you „crazy“. When I planned this trip I dreamt of spending christmas at a beautiful beach, just have a Margaritha there, lay in the sun, take a swim…

Things turned out to be different and – however – I spend Christmas Eve strolling through the streets of Guadalajara, going to a Cathedral and drinking a few beers in the hostal with a bunch of people from differnt countries. It was great – and I decided to stay for a few days. We took a bus to the Laguna de Chapala, a very touristy but also beautiful place, we went to a Rodeo the next day, I‘ ve been to Tonala and Tlaquepaque …

When I was about ready to leave I became a bit sick and spent quite some time at the restroom ;-). Yesterday everything was good again, I went to the Zoo and at night we sat together, chatted and had some beer. Today I‘ m getting ready to hop on my bike again – doing laundry, buying some groceries, taking a look at the map and organizing my things.

I‘ m definately planning to leave tomorrow and I‘ m hoping that there won‘ t be too much traffic on a sunday morning. But this place is crazy, it just sucks you in and you don‘ t want to leave again!!!

CU on the road