Road Cycling in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Bicycle Shop

We are pretty excited about the Bici Bucerias location Puerto Vallarta, names Bici Bucerias Puerto Vallarta. We are in the process of looking for a permanent bike shop in Puerto Vallarta. In the interim, we will will be working out of the Specialized concept store in the Galerias mall in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta Bicycle Rentals 

We have just booked our first series of bike rentals in Puerto Vallarta! Puerto Vallarta is an amazing place for road cycling. South of Puerto Vallarta there are some excellent road cycling routes which will take you through the jungle and the lower slopes of the Sierra Madre.

Puerto Vallarta Road Bike Tours

Next week we will be heading out to El Tuito for an amazing road bike tour from Puerto Vallarta. Clarence Poon, owner of the Bici Bucerias Puerto Vallarta location, will be leading all of our bike tours and handling our bike rentals out of Puerto Vallarta. 

Bici Bucerias Puerto Vallarta Bike Tour - El Tuito

Bici Bucerias Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Bike Tours

Puerto Vallarta Bike Rentals

Contact us today! 

 

A Canadian Cyclist's Cycling Experience in Mexico

A cyclist’s paradise…on the bike and off

My pulse-quickening (and eye-opening) adventures with Bici Bucerias by Stephen Lund

 

It started out as a week’s worth of cycling in a country better known for tequila, sombreros, drug cartel violence and Montezuma’s revenge.

And it ended up as a complete quashing of media-hyped stereotypes and the exciting discovery of a quietly inviting tropical paradise...not to mention several hundred kilometres of the most satisfying cycling I’ve ever done!

 

Challenging rides, epic climbs and plenty of pleasant surprises

I’ll be honest: when my wife and I set off for Mexico and my week of guided road biking with Bici Bucerias, we didn’t know what to expect. So we expected the worst.

Seven days later, we came back to Canada with an unequivocal opinion of the place:
“Why would you want to vacation – or ride your bike– anywhere else?”

 

A cycling addict hits his pinnacle

I met Joel Goralski in 2009.

That was the year I decided to switch gears from ‘Spandex-clad commuter’ to ‘serious road racer’. I was 44.

This manifestation of a man’s midlife crisis got enthusiastic nods of approval from my wife. It certainty seemed less costly than a red Corvette, and it promised to keep me trim and fit. Win-win.

In my very first road race, I eked out a hard-fought second-place finish. Joel approached me after the race, explained that he’d recently created a cycling team for ‘guys our age’ and invited me to join.

I raced with Team Niklas until I moved from Calgary to Victoria (for the year-round cycling) in 2011. During that time, I joined Joel in France for a week of dream-come-true cycling… including a race that culminated atop the 21 hairpin bends of legendary Alpe d’Huez – the pinnacle of any amateur cyclist’s ‘career’.

Or so you would think.

After I moved, Joel and I kept in touch. And when he told me, in mid-2013, that he was moving his family to Mexico to start a bike touring company, I was hardly surprised.

Joel, you see, is one of those guys who lets his passions shape his lifestyle. And Joel, more than anyone I’ve ever met – more than me, even (and that’s saying a lot) – loves cycling.

Only one thing left me wondering. “Why Mexico?” I mean, of all the places people think of when they think of road biking, Mexico’s far from top of mind. In fact, Mexico rarely makes the list.

But if you know Joel, you know there’s always a method to his seeming madness. And in early October 2014, I got a chance to discover exactly why Mexico makes so much sense….

 

In 2013, Joel and Jillian Goralski packed their kids and their worldly possessions into a 24-foot RV, made a 4,700-km southbound trek and settled down (and set up shop) in Bucerias, Mexico.

 

The quintessential Mexican town - Bucerias

Located on a stretch of the Pacific coast known as the Riviera Nayarita, Bucerías has a beach that stretches uninterrupted for nearly 30 kilometres. Along its cobblestone streets, charming cafés and artisan shops open into secret gardens behind walls draped with bougainvillea. A busy central plaza is home to markets and festivals under the clock tower.

But beautiful beaches and vista views are just the beginning of Bucerias – a warm, welcoming Mexican town whose unpretentious character stands in stark contrast to the contrived resort style of nearby Nuevo Vallarta.

 From paranoia…

In the weeks leading up to our trip to Bucerias, my wife was anxious. No – that’s an understatement. She was manic.

We’d been to Mexico before – twice, actually: Cancun back in 1991 and, just last year, Puerto Aventuras. But we never really strayed from our all-inclusive resorts – those protective cocoons where the food is excessive, the English-speaking staff are attentive and the experience is more sanitized than the twin toilets in your lavish room.

Heck – when you’ve forked over hundreds of dollars a day for ‘all you can eat’ and the resort offers such authentic Mexican adventures as booze cruises and dolphin rides, why would anyone venture beyond the guarded gates? Besides, the world we saw from our hotel shuttle – with downtrodden people coming and going from crumbling shacks and ramshackle busses – looked like no place for a pair of lily-white gringos whose broken Spanish extended no further than ¿Dónde está el baño?

Is it any wonder, then, that the prospect of spending a week in a Mexican town, amid Mexican people, eating Mexican food, was making Sarah edgy?

And if worries about bedbugs and unrelenting pedlars and Montezuma’s revenge weren’t enough, media hype about Mexican violence was grist for the mill of her ‘worst case scenario’ mind-set.

“Although I was determined to conquer my inner scaredy-cat and accompany my husband to Bucerias, I worried about many things,” she candidly confesses. “And googling ‘is Mexico safe?’ didn’t help matters! Would I be kidnapped? Would sandcastle-builders find my body in a shallow grave on the beach? And what would I do while Steve was off cycling? I certainly wouldn’t be leaving the confines of our villa by myself. And speaking of Steve – what kind of idiot goes cycling on roads through the bandito-infested Mexican jungle?”

See what I mean? Manic.

…to ‘Paradise Found’

All told, it took a little less than half a day in Bucerias for Sarah’s pendulum to swing to the opposite extreme.

“In no time at all,” she explains, “I was a convert. My fears dropped away like ripe mangos from the tree in the courtyard next door to our villa.

“Venturing out daily – by myself – I felt perfectly safe. When I got lost (as I occasionally did), I simply asked for help – once at a dentist’s office, once from a taxi driver waiting for a fare, once from the proprietor of a roadside taco stand. Even if their English was as shaky as my Spanish, we somehow communicated and they helped me find my way.

“I met and spoke with local Mexicans who were helpful and generous. They helped me get on the right busses and pay the correct fare. Some were eager to have me look at what they were selling, but a gentle No, gracias is all that was needed. What struck me is that they were all making a genuine effort to earn a living – unlike the many, many people on the streets who harass me for hand-outs in my home city.

“And the food! It was so convenient and affordable to eat out – never mind tasty! We ate delicious Mexican food cooked and served by street vendors and modest establishments. We also dined a couple times at more upscale restaurants operated by expats. And upset tummies were never an issue…unlike the tummy troubles that beset me last year at our all-inclusive hotel!

“Steve set off cycling most mornings, and I was never bored without him. I swam, I read, I walked, I explored, I shopped and I experienced the town and the people of Bucerias.”

Just how much of a convert is Sarah? Let’s just say we’ll be returning with our children for two weeks in March 2015 to spend spring break in Bucerias!

 

What struck us most about Bucerias – apart from the 32-degree heat – was the warmth of the locals and the exquisite flavours of the shockingly affordable food.

 

A Puerto Vallarta cycling experience beyond all expectations

My wife isn’t the only convert in the family.

After five days of cycling around Nayarit and into the nearby Sierra Madre of Jalisco,
I really can’t wait to get back and do it all again!

 The road less travelled

Let’s return to Joel for a moment, and let’s revisit the question of his sanity.

Here’s a guy who, in Calgary, founded and built Niklas Group – a highly successful real estate development company. (If you know Calgary, you’re probably familiar with Casel on 17th – a nine-storey condo tower with a European-inspired bistro, café, wine boutique and organic market on the ground floor. That’s just one example of Joel’s inner-city handiwork.) He had a great gig going.

But after 10 or so years of vacationing in Bucerias with his wife Jillian and their two kids, Joel did the kind of thing most of us only dream of doing: he heeded the call of sunnier climes, moved his family to Mexico and opened for business under a funky new shingle:
Bici Bucerias – an adventure operator specializing in bicycling tours.

What on earth possessed him to do such a thing?

 “That’s easy,” says Joel. “The biking around here is simply incredible. Most of our customers show up as sceptics and leave as true believers.

“During all those years vacationing in Bucerias, I spent countless hours in the saddle exploring the area's roads, talking to local riders, zeroing in on routes that range from recreational to hardcore. And along with the diversity of rides, I’ve found it to be one of the safest places I’ve ever cycled.

“While the typical North American ‘two car family’ is becoming more common here, the sensibilities of getting around by bike or burro have endured.”

Indeed they have. Save for a few instances of behind-the-wheel impatience, the drivers that came up behind us seemed perfectly content to toodle along at our pace until it was safe to pass, which they tended to do with a honk and a wave.

And then there were the kids, who looked at us and cheered for us like we were movie stars!

 

Based on several years of reconnaissance, Joel has mapped out a selection of rides that range from the easygoing to the extreme – all on roads that are, for the most part, well maintained and lightly travelled.

 

The ups and downs of cycling in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Let’s talk terrain. And the fact that not everyone who rides a bike is a hammerhead (cycling lingo for guys and gals who refuse to pedal gentle ’n’ easy).

Terrain first. My five days of riding unfolded as so:

Day 1 • A relatively easy, relatively flat 60 km from Bucerias to El Colomo and back again

Day 2 • A 60-km loop whose steady climbs and fast descents took us through Sayulita – a funky little fishing village

Day 3 • A day of epic climbing: 4,300+ metres of elevation gain over three peaks including El Paso de la Virgen – a 10-km ascent whose double-digit grades brought back memories of Alpe D’Huez

Day 4 • Another day of great climbing (3,120 m) to the town of El Tuito and beyond, starting and finishing with 10 km of rolling and scenic coastal roads south of Puerto Vallarta

Day 5 • A ‘wind down’ 40 km on flat roads, with a couple of all-out efforts to challenge some Strava segment leaderboards.

I’ll confess: because I tend toward ‘hammerhead’, Day 1 left me a little leery that the whole thing might be too easy; but the days that followed wrung that notion right out of my noggin.

For Joel, that first day’s ride is crucial to making sure every rider’s time on the bike is unforgettably satisfying. While allowing riders to acclimatize to the altitude and humidity, it gives Joel a chance to align them with the right rides and the right guides.

With a stable of experienced guides always at the ready, Bici Bucerias caters to a full range of cycling ambitions and abilities – from easygoing sorts who like to soak up the scenery to weekend warriors eager to push themselves further than ever before to serious athletes who choose to live their lives in heart rate zones 4 and 5.

That’s really good news for hammerheads like me, whose worst fear (apart from a head-on collision with a bus) is having to dramatically dial down our effort to accommodate the ‘slowest common denominator’ in a large group of cyclists.

 

All the fun with none of the hassles

If you’ve ever taken your bike on a plane before, you know it’s a monumental hassle…and no small expense.

For starters, you have to break your bike down and carefully stow its precious pieces in a cumbersome box that makes manoeuvring through the airport more of a challenge than ascending the Pass of the Virgin. When you finally make it to the check-in counter, your smiling CSR will sting you for a handling fee that’s usually $75–100 each way. And let’s not even talk about the anxiety that grips you by the throat as the conveyor belt carries your bike away and doesn’t let go till the baggage handlers toss it through the door at the other end.

But what else can you do? If you’re even semi-serious as a cyclist, you have a deep emotional attachment to your bike and can’t even imagine riding a rental from a Mexican tour operator.

But let’s not forget, folks: Joel is far more than semi-serious when it comes to cycling. He knows the pains of shipping and (fingers crossed!) receiving a precious bike by air, and he built Bici Bucerias to make it easy to travel to Mexico and discover its promise as a cyclist’s paradise.

Teaming up with the Specialized shop in Puerto Vallarta, Bici Bucerias has assembled an impressive fleet of two-wheelers: the Allez and Tarmac for everyday road rides and the S-Works Venge for serious roadies. (For cyclists of other stripes, Bici Bucerias has bikes for cross-country, mixed terrain and non-technical mountain biking as well as cruisers for leisurely town riding.)

For around the same cost (or less) of transporting your own bike to Mexico and home again, you get a week’s worth of a bike every bit as good (or very, very close) as the bike you ride back home.

And when you’re riding, there’s no need to fuss with extra water bottles and stretch those jersey pockets to their limits with bananas and power bars. Most of the rides are vehicle supported, and the rest include regular opportunities to replenish.

 

If ever you’ve longed for a change of pace from the roads and routes you ride day in and day out – and what serious cyclist hasn’t? – Mexico’s sure to deliver the variety and challenges you’re craving.

 

 

 

Never a dull moment. Ever.

Eat. Drink. Soak up the sunshine. Stroll. Shop. Stretch. Take a dip. Take a sip. Explore. Eat some more. Swim. Surf. Build castles in the sand. Dance. Dream. Breathe. And just be.

 

The ‘off the bike’ Bici Bucerias experience

With cobblestone streets and a central avenida just one block up from the beach, Bucerias has all the hallmarks of a traditional Mexican village.

Pedestrian-friendly streets with broad, well shaded sidewalks. Colourful colonial homes with sun-baked shingles and high stone walls where geckos scamper amid flowering vines. Vendors selling just-picked fruits and veggies from pushcarts and pickups. Friendly greetings from the cool porticoes of street-side shops and cafés. And an unhurried, unworried ambiance that invites you to experience life at the unfamiliar pace of ‘slow and easy’.

Something that surprised me about Bucerias is how safe I felt wandering its streets both day and night. The media has done a great job of painting Mexico as a place full of perils, but their broad-stroke reporting has unfairly coloured places like Bucerias as unfit for sensible travellers.  Mexico is a big country, and like every big country it has pockets of criminal activity. Happily, Bucerias isn’t one of them. You still need to come with your common sense, of course, but you needn’t be paralyzed by irrational fears.

On Sundays in Bucerias, townspeople and tourists alike can be found shoulder to shoulder at the local ‘mercado’ (market), which sells everything you can imagine (and quite a few things you can’t).

If you’re eager to sample the authentic flavours of Mexico, Bucerias won’t disappoint. We frequently treated ourselves to the home-cooked delights of local street vendors and humble establishments, which ranged from ‘delicious’ to ‘extraordinary!’

Our favourite was Tacos Linda. Inside a carport outfitted with eight tables and a small kitchen, Linda cooks while her son waits on the patrons. For our second meal there, Sarah had fish tacos and I had the arrachera (a huge, tender and flavourful steak) served with a poblano (stuffed pepper) and a cheese quesadilla. And with a very generous tip, it all came to less than 10 bucks!

 

Try your hand at stand-up paddle-boarding. Take a horseback ride along the beach. Or fill your shopping basket with fresh fruits and veggies from local vendors around the town.

Unforgettable Mexican experiences are by no means exclusive to Bucerias. Dining and cultural adventures abound in nearby La Cruz, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta.

We also enjoyed a few Western dining experiences at restaurants owned and operated by expats. These included Chin-Gon Asian Flavours – a Thai place whose food is fantastic and whose Ferraro Rocher ice cream is to die for; Karen’s Place – a beachfront establishment whose huge portions ooze with freshness and flavour; Joe Jack’s Fish Shack in Puerto Vallarta, which served up one of the best burgers I’ve ever devoured; and Charlie’s Place in nearby La Cruz, whose wood-fired chorizo and chill pepper pizza left a warm and pleasant aftertaste.

For those inclined to sign up for an all-inclusive Bici Bucerias tour, I’d say it’s very well worth it. As much as he’s a cycling aficionado, Joel is a ‘foodie’ who puts a lot of effort into ensuring his guests are well fed and well refreshed with the best Bucerias and the surrounding towns have to offer.

On our second-to-last day in Bucerias, Sarah and I hopped on a bus bound for Sayulita, where we met the Goralskis for a lazy afternoon nibbling nachos and sipping cold beverages under a palapa and splashing around in the warm surf.

We also took a short trip to Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz and, for about a buck apiece, picked up the biggest, freshest prawns we’ve ever eaten!

Another dimension of the relaxed Bucerias lifestyle the Goralskis eagerly share with guests is yoga. At the beautiful Shala Ananda Yoga studio just a five-minute walk away, we opened our hips and our chakras as Diana (a transplant from Kansas) led us through an invigorating Hatha flow.

When Bici Bucerias has full groups booked, Joel likes to bring Diana or her partner Brett down to Casa Victoria (see next page) for a poolside yoga session before setting off for the day’s cycling adventure.

If you want to infuse your holiday with a ‘big city’ experience, Puerto Vallarta’s just 20 km away –a 40-minute bus ride that’ll set you back a mere 20 pesos (around $1.50).

Mi casa es su casa - Bici Bucerias

So where do you stay when you go to Bucerias?

Well, you can stay at the Decameron – a shockingly purple all-inclusive resort just a couple blocks from the Bici Bucerias shop. A little further away, you can choose from thousands of rooms at dozens of hotels and resorts in Nuevo Vallarta. Or you can book one of the many condos and houses for rent throughout the town of Bucerias.

The thing that makes the most sense, though – especially if you’re travelling with a larger group that likes to stick pretty close together – is Casa Victoria.

Jointly owned by Joel and his business partner, Casa Victoria is a self-contained collection of villas, most of them newly renovated. The main floor includes a pair of two bedroom/two bathroom villas plus a one-bedroom garden suite. Upstairs, there’s another two-bedroom and one more one-bedroom. And apart from the main building is a two-bedroom casita.

Grand total: 10 bedrooms that will comfortably accommodate 20+ guests.

Centrally located on a quiet residential street in the coveted Zona Dorada (Gold Zone), Casa Victoria is just a block and a half from Bici Bucerias, two blocks from the beach (one of the longest stretches of white sand along the Mexican Riviera), a five-minute walk from the yoga studio and a 10-minute walk from the town square. It’s also close to a great selection of food stands, restaurants, convenience stores and boutique shops.

Embraced by tropical lushness, Casa Victoria has a shared lap pool and a roomy pool deck with plenty of lounge chairs, a barbecue and a palapa.

Maid service is provided twice a week along with garden and pool maintenance. Personal laundry service is also available (if you need to have your Spandex laundered).

 

Sarah and I don’t agree on everything. (Whether 40-somethings should strut around in Spandex, for example.) But on the matter of Bucerias, we’re unanimous: you should go!

 

Thank you, Bici Bucerias

Yes – I was a sceptic.

But after a glorious week in Bucerias and five fantastic days of cycling on the highways and byways of Nayarit and Jalisco, I’ve joined the ranks of the other guests who’ve joined you on your rides.

A true believer.

Stephen Lund

Cyclists from the UK rejoice! Direct flights to Mexico from £298

Cycling Tours in Mexico

Flights to Puerto Vallarta - Cycling Destination

I always try to stay on top of airfares from all destinations coming into the Puerto Vallarta area. I was happy to see that there was a new service coming from the UK! If you live in or near London or Manchester, check out flight with Tompson Airways direct and not stop to a warm and dry cycling destination and it is not the south of Spain - It is Mexico! Recently we saw flights from £298 with all taxes and fees. 

Mexico Cycling?

Most people when arranging to take a trip to the tropics of Mexico are not thinking of cycling as being an option. I am an avid cyclist, but it actually took me several years to actually discover that there is amazing riding right in my own back yard! One day I went for a ride off the beaten path and it was a complete eye opener. We basically fell in the same trap as many other tourists. We came here for the beach, the beer, some rest and some margaritas! So we kind of stuck to what we knew and rarely explored the amazing area that was hidden right in front of our noses. That was one of the reasons for starting Bici Bucerias.

Cycling in Mexico - Is it safe?

You bet! One of the things that constantly amazes me is how courteous the Mexican driver is to us cyclists. I come from a bigger city in Canada and our rides out on the quiet country roads are usually met with angry motorists who can't stand the sight of us. Here in Mexico, it is the complete opposite. When Cycling in Mexico you will encounter drivers who respect your space. They pass with caution, giving you a wide space. A lot of drivers will honk, but unlike the angry motorists we have experienced in other parts of the world, they are just letting you know they are there or they are basically saying hi!

Bici Bucerias Mexican Bike Tours

Contact Bici Bucerias to arrange for your week long bike tour. We specialize in cycling tours near Puerto Vallarta in neighbouring Bucerias. From only £299 you can add a week long bike rental with 3 guided rides for only £269 and enjoy a week riding your bike in the sun!

Cycling Accommodations in Mexico

Looking for cycling accommodations in Puerto Vallarta Mexico? Look no further. We have several well appointed villas only a block to the beach and amazing cycling right out your back door. Check out Casa Victoria Villas in Bucerias. Casa Victoria Villas - Vacation Rental is a perfect option for your stay in Bucerias.

A Great Ride Sunday September 8 2013

Here is one of the rides that is on every tour. This is a majestic ride through the Sierra Madre Mountains. My lovely wife Jillian dropped me off just after Ixtapa. It was overcast with light rain. As I progressed, the rain was pretty steady. 

Here is the climb. The average grade is not so bad. I really is just a steady climb. However, there are some sections that really kick and if you don't have the gearing you will be mashing! 

I will post some more rides soon! 

Joel

Mexico or Bust Week Two

Well here I go again... Believe it our not this is the second time I am writing this blog… I was around half way through and I deleted the entire post thinking that I was just deleting a block in the post. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way to recover this! Crap!

So the last time we left off we were about to head out from the Redwood Forrest region of northern California on out way to Calistoga in Napa Valley. We were up at 6:00 AM that morning and we left the campsite by 7:00. It was a very picturesque and scenic ride down the 101. We did the obligatory stop at the big Paul Bunyan statue and then basically high tailed it to Napa. Here is the route http://goo.gl/maps/v4Vlk

 

Day Nine - We arrived in Calistoga in the late afternoon. After all those hours in the car I was itching to get out on a ride. I chose a short ride but it was a steady climb up just past the Robert Louis Stevenson Park. You can click here for the route. http://goo.gl/maps/pIoRC . It was an amazing scenic ride and it wasn’t for the asshole California drivers who could not stand to have me on the side of the highway, I would have put this in my top climbs. I have to give the drivers a score of 1 out of 5 in Napa. It is simply amazing. These people are driving through this beautiful area but it means nothing. Also, a cyclist on a mountain coming up to a blind corner is a big delay to their day. So it means hit the gas on that corner and if a big truck comes around the other side, no big deal, you can just hit the cyclist. All that being said, I would do the ride again, but on a Saturday or Sunday morning when people are not so anxious. Unfortunately, the California drivers in the Napa region get a 1/5 from me on this trip. They need to smarten up.

After I got back from the ride we all got on our bikes, did a little shopping and then went to a local Italian restaurant called Boskos (http://www.boskos.com ) . Boskos does not sound too Italian to me but the food, especially the pizza is very authentic. Jillian and I started with a little flight of local beer. I can’t recall the actual brewery, but we had a nice IPA, a hefferveisen and a summer lager. All work quite nice. For dinner NJ, Jillian and I went straight for the pizza and Adi had a pasta alfredo. Jillian and I paired our pizza with the Cult which is one of our favourite every day Cabs that we would buy at J.Webb Wine Merchant back in Calgary.  You can find some information and tasting notes at http://www.totalwine.com/eng/product/cult-cabernet-napa/112543750.

Day Ten – I was up at the crack of day ( 6:00 AM) to do a nice long ride. This was a beautiful ride up the 128 to Geyser road. Since I left pretty early in the morning traffic was minimal. Once I was on Geyser, I did not see one car until I was on my way back and a couple of trucks passed me in the opposite direction. You can check out the ride here  http://goo.gl/maps/Ggg8F . Geyser is a tough ride. After about KM#2 it really starts to kck up. I was hitting grades up to 18% and the average over 10 KM was around 8%, which rivals many of the European climbs. I would have loved to keep exploring this area as it was simply amazing. However, I needed to get back to cook breakfast and then the family and I were off for a bike wine tour!

After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs we all got on our bikes and went to the Calistoga Bike Shop.  Check out www.Calistogabikeshop.com  for information. Jillian and I did a tour with them when we were in Napa on our 10th year wedding anniversary. At that time they provided the bikes, the map, little wrist bands that allowed complimentary tastings at all the participating wineries. Since we were looking at only doing 3 – 4 tastings, and since we had our own bikes, it did not make sense to do the tour. However the good folks at this shop gave us the map and offered to pick up our wine for us so that we would not have to carry it on our bikes. In the end, when it came time for us to pick up the wine, I made a call and asked the guy if he would drop it at our camp site on his way home. He said “no problem dude”.  Really great service and I totally recommend that you see this company if you are in Calistoga and have them set you up for a cycling wine tour!

Now to the good stuff. We really did not know what to expect when we were dragging our kids along on a bike ride that basically had nothing for them to do other than see their mom and dad enjoy wine. The way I positioned it to them was as follows: “Listen up kids. Today were are going to go on a nice little bike ride together. Tomorrow we are going to Disneyland and mom and dad are going to spend two full days doing all the things you want to do in that magical kingdom. While I am sure we are going to like most of it, there are definitely going to be times where we will want to be somewhere else, but at the end of the day, we won’t complain. You know why? Because it is your time to enjoy and that is fun for us. Well… a bike wine tour is mom and dad’s Disney. You will have a little fun riding and there might be some interesting things, but you are going to get bored but remember… this is our Disney and I don’t want to hear a peep! Got it!!!?” We also gave them the duty of filming and taking some pictures. In the end, they did get a little bored at times, but for once… no complaints!

Here is our self-guided tour! http://goo.gl/maps/IwnAe


Our first winery was Twomey which is point A on the google map and pronounced (too-me). I kept calling in (twow me) but was eventually corrected by the host. Twome had some great selections of wine. The tasting was $15 per person but the fee was waived if you made a purchase. We started off with a nice little rosé, which was new for this winery. A matter of fact, I am enjoying a glass of it as I write this blog! The nose is quite refresing with hints of apples, peach and even strawberry. On the palate, you can really taste the berries which, really lingers for quite some time. As I type it is about 36 degrees outside and I am enjoying the appropriate rosé in the safe and comfortable confines of our RV!

The second winery was just a few hundred meter away, which is point B on the map is name Clos Pegase. You can find out more about this winery at http://clospegase.com . Close Pegase was started by Jan Shrem, a self made publishing millionaire who fell in love with art and Bordeaux. You can find out more about him at http://clospegase.com/about.php . The tasting fee at Close Pegase was steep at $30 per person for the reserve. While it had one white wine on the tasting menu, the rest were all big reds. I was a little hesitant at going for this one as it was 100+ degrees outside and Jillian and I were both craving rosé , sauvignon blancs and chardonnays. Nonetheless, I was excited to try as the host was boasting about how Mr. Shrem wanted these wines to be all about old world. He even went so far as to say that it was Close Pegase that allowed him to come back to California Chardonnays that all became big and buttery. This Chardonnay, he promised, was elegant and more about fruit and rich texture on the palate with balanced minerality reminiscent of some of the great French chardonnays. This was our first wine to try and we were not disappointed.

Unfortunately I do not have much to say about the reserve reds. They were fairly underwhelming. I am not sure if it was the weather and the intense heat, but they failed to strike a core with either for us. That being said, once we finished, our host allowed us a taste of their rosé and pinto noir. The rosé was wonderful as explained above. The pinot reminded me of the pinot noir produced by Blue Mountain Winery, which is one of our favorite Canadian wineries. The wine had lots of fruit and hints of spice. This pinot was very subtle and soft on the palate. All in all this was just a yummy wine. After our tasting finished we bought two of each of the chardonnay, pinot and rosé. While we were only to have one tasting fee waived, our host graciously waived both and we were on our way.

The final winery, point C on the google map, which looked like it was around 1KM away on our little hand held map, that did have a disclaimer that it was not to scale, was in fact around 4 Km away and all climbing. So suffice to say, the family was not too happy about that. I have to give everyone high fives though as they pulled through and we got there with smiles on our faces! You can find out more about Dutch Henry at http://www.dutchhenry.com/wines/  Dutch Henry is a typical Napa winery that has a good selection of wines. We don’t have anything extraordinary to say about the tasting other than it was good. We were super happy with the pinot and the rosé. Similar to the Clos pinot, it had very prominent strawberry on the nose and a little bit of spice. The finish was soft but lacked a bit of the finesse of the Clos. The rosé, again, was similar to that of the Clos. They had a special if you bought 12 wines you would get 50% off. The host allowed us to mix a case so we bough 6 of the rosé and 6 of the pinot which was a phenomenal deal.

The final stop was a nice little diner called Mary’s Home Plate Café, which is located a point D on the google map. You can find out more at http://maryshomeplatecafe.com .  Jillian and I had a beer, the kids enjoyed a burger, fries and onion rings. This was a little stop Jillian and I made back in 2010 when we visited. While Mary’s is not something that you are going to rage about for years, it will satisfy any craving for a good burger and a side of fries. It also has a nice selection of beer, which is great when you are done tasting wine.

Day Eleven -  Once again we woke up at 6AM to depart by 7:00 for the long journey to Anaheim for our Disney adventure. The trip was pretty uneventful and we passed the time listening to Sirius Satellite Radio, which has been awesome. We did have some issues with it in the mountains as it would cut in and out. But once we got on the open road, we rarely lost the signal.  This was a great purchase for the RV and our trip. Here is our route http://goo.gl/maps/8UmsC . My only complaint was getting from Los Angeles to Anaheim. If you have been to California and have had to drive near the big cities, then you will know what I am talking about. The traffic is FRICKING BRUTAL.I have been stuck in that California traffic before, but like a bad dream, I blocked it out of my mind. The distance from LA to Anaheim is 26 miles or so. It should have taken us around 30 minutes. This part of the trip took us close to two hours! We were literally bumper to bumper for most of the trip. The crazy thing is that people who live there do this every single working day of their life. They commute in and they commute out. While the weather in California is great, you could not pay me to live here. NO THANKS!

The RV park we booked was great. It was super close to Disney and was on a shuttle route that had a bus come by every 20 – 30 minutes starting at 7:00 AM up until 12:30 AM. You can find out more at http://www.anaheimresortrvpark.com . We arrived quite late in the afternoon. So we basically checked in, parked, made some dinner, did some laundry and went to sleep. We woke up at 6AM the next day to catch the first shuttle to Disney!

Day Twelve - Our first day at Disney, and sorry to be predictable, but it was magical! First off, we got there before the gates opened. This allowed us to get in to the park and hit the rides right away. A matter of fact by 11:00 we managed to get on every ride the kids wanted to go on without any major lines! Secondly, we were totally blessed by the weather. It was overcast and it did not get over 72 degrees. The Disney gods were smiling upon us! For lunch we ate in the New Orleans section. I had the rice and beans, Jillian had a Caesar chicken salad, NJ a French Dip beef sandwich and Adi had the Mac and cheese. While the food was not out of this world award worthy, it was good value. The prices were less than what we would pay at Earls in Calgary and the quality was about the same. All things said 4/5 for what it was.

After a quick afternoon nap we headed back in to the park. We had a dinner reservation at Caltal. Catal is basically a Spanish/Mediterranean inspired restaurant located on Main Street in Disney. Jillian and I started by sharing a pint of local beer with our appetizers that consisted of olives, patatas bravas and little grilled manchego sandwiches. We were pleasantly surprised. For the main course Jillian and I shared the suckling pig, NJ had the lobster paella and Adi … now get ready for this everyone… you will never guess in a million years…. Adi had a BURGER (note… now for those who know Adi, Adi almost always has a burger…). Jillian and I paired our meal with a fabulous 2002 Chateau Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande (Pauillac). Again, while I cannot say that this was the best restaurant I have ever been, it was good. The service was great, although the manager was super nervous opening our Pichon and we actually had to request that he decant. Nonetheless, there is no way we would be able to have that meal in our native YYC at the price that we paid. It is surprising that even Disney is cheaper than Calgary! Food 3.5/5 Service 4/5 Overall 4/5

After dinner we headed to the California Adventure. The coolest ride that we hit was California Soaring. It was a flight simulation that had us flying over California. This ride was like no other. I really, and truly fealt that I was on a glider taking in the majestic views of this epic flight. It was incredible and I did not want it to end! The evening ended with us heading back to the RV park and catching the fireworks from our campsite.

Day Thirteen – This was our last day in Disney. We planned on awaking at 6:00 AM again so that we could catch the first shuttle. For some reason I turned my phone volume down and we all slept in to 7:40 AM. Can you believe that??? We ended up missing the first shuttle but we got the next one. It all worked out. We got to the park early, hit every ride that we wanted to see in California Adventure. The first ride we hit was the California Screaming, which is a super cool rollercoaster. The line was non existent. We waited 5 minutes. The next ride was water adventure ride, then we did the “single” line for the Cars ride and got through in about 15 minutes, although we were all separated except for Adi and I. The ride started out kind of hokey. I’m like, OK, this is kind of cool but been there done that. Then after doing this tour around Carlsland, you pull up to this start line and you race a car beside you. It was pretty fun. I smiled the whole time. As it turned out, Jillian was in the other car and her car won! While it would have been nice to have had done the ride as a family, it would not have been worth the 75 minute wait.

After we finished with California Adventure we had enough time to head back to Disney, do the log ride, come back to California Adventure and have a hot dog at “Award Wieners” and then get back to our RV site to leave in time to make it to our friends house in LA before the rush hour hit.  While we thought we were leaving with time to spare, it does not matter. Every hour is rush hour. While it did not take us two hours to do a 30 minute drive, we were around 90 minutes taking the “fast route”.

We spent that evening with some good friends in La Canada, which is just outside of LA. Our hosts made us an amazing meal of Gazpacho, rice with black beans, marinated tri tip steak, and grilled endive. It was our BEST MEAL of the whole trip. We paired the meal with some Twomey pinot and a great Bordeaux selection by our friends. We spent the first night of our trip in an actual bed that night outside of our RV. What a great treat!

DAY 14 – Day 14 we slept in until around 8AM and then had a slow start to the day. We spent our morning with our friends and then we all went for an early lunch to a local pizza place called Georgie’s. You can find some Yelp reviews at http://www.yelp.ca/biz/georgees-pizza-la-canada-flintridge  We ordered a few pies, Jillian and I shared a beer, we said our good byes, and then we were on our way to Chula Vista RV Resort to spend the night before we headed in to Mexico. The Chula Vista RV resort is located just outside of San Diego and within 10 minutes of the Mexican Border. You can find out more about the resort by clicking here http://www.chulavistarv.com. This was a fancy dancy RV park with all the bells and whistles and the price to boot. The cost for one night was $70 which was more than double the average cost of any of the places we stayed before. All that being said, it was close to Mexico, it had a nice pool for the kids. That night we ate leftovers, drank one of the worst wines ever (Copa White Zinfandel), but then promptly chucked it enjoyed a couple of beers. After food was done we started the God Father series as a pre-bed video. We were all exhausted and we fell asleep within 30 minutes.

Day 15 -  Another early morning. Tijuana is known as one of the busiest border crossings in Mexico. We purposely planned to cross on a Sunday and do it early. We got to the crossing just before 7:30 AM and drove straight up to the crossing. A lot of times they will just waive you through with not much of a glance. In our case, being in a RV and towing a trailer, the boarder officials are more curious. We were pulled aside and they did a search. The agent was very friendly and professional. It helped that I spoke fluent Spanish. He really warmed up when I told him that we were going to spend a year in Mexico and that our kids were going to go to school in Bucerias and learn Spanish. After about 10 minutes, we were our way.

Originally we planned to cruise down the Baja and then take a ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. We ended up changing plans last minute. First, we could not confirm space on the ferry by internet or by phone. This concerned us. Second, it was going to be and extra $1,500 to make the ferry trip. We had to ask ourselves if it was going to be worth it. We can always hop a flight or take the ferry (without car) during our year in Mexico and check out the Baja. So in the end we bailed and decided to take the most direct route to Bucerias.

One thing I did not talk about too much in the blog was our GPS. This has been a life saver, especially when driving in nutty California. Well, the GPS did not work to well for our Mexico destination. We tried to program Puerto Penasco from Chula Vista but it wanted to take us on a longer route through the US and then another boarder crossing. So we then programmed it to take us to Tijuana. Once it Tijuana we tried to reprogram it to take us to our final destination for the day. Again, the damn thing wanted to take us back out of Mexico in to the US and then back to Mexico! Anyway, long story short, we took a few long turns and got a little side tracked. We lost about an hour but eventually we were on our way.

Now you have all hear the horror stories about driving across border and that you need to worry about drug lords and gang shootings, kidnapping etc… well it is all bunk. Basically, drive during the day. Stick to the toll roads and major highways and you will be just fine.

A few things I have to say:

1.     The highways have been fantastic. Great condition. Easy driving. I felt safer driving on these roads than I do on some stretches of the Trans Canada. Now there has been some construction but they are definitely doing more to make these great roads even better.

2.     Military Check Points are quite prevalent. Some people would find these stops very intimidating and scary. I think they are great. You stop. They ask you some questions. You show them around your RV. They check or open some luggage and they send you on your way. So just so you know. These fellows are looking for BAD GUYS, not tourists or people like us on a life adventure. We were in and out of these stops in five minutes or less. I always thanked the guys for what they are doing. They are an important part of keeping Mexicans and tourists safe.

3.     The scenery has been awesome. We did one stretch along the #2 and went through some amazing topography. The canyon was something to been seen. We passed through desert and then places where we fealt we were in Jurassic Park. These are the things that Americans do not see in Mexico when they hold themselves up in a stale all inclusive. 

Here was our route

http://goo.gl/maps/sg0IK

We arrived in Puerto Penasco in the late afternoon and stayed at The Playa Del Oro RV Park. The playa (beach) was far from what I would call a beach of gold. The RV Park was tired and a little beat up. Our expectations were a little higher and we thought we would spend a few nights there. You can find out more about the Playa Del Oro at http://www.playadeoro-rv.com.

We were hoping that the park would be close to restaurants and the town. It looked a little closer on the map in the guide book. Again, beware of maps not to scale. Anyway, we got the bikes out and did a little ride in to town. We ate at a typical beachside Mexican restaurant. We had fish tacos. The value was great. It was $1.00 per taco. The quality was ok. Nothing to brag about. After dinner the sun was already down and we had to ride back in the dark. We kind of lost our way and took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. There was a slight moment of panic when we all wound up on the road heading out of town. That quickly diminished when we stopped, took a breath, and backtracked to a place we recognized. After asking a couple of locals, who were enjoying an evening beer, where the RV park was, we quickly found our way and were back safe and sound.

Day Sixteen – We slept in until 8:00 and then we were on road around 9.:00. We originally planned on stopping in Hermosillo but instead we pushed on to San Carlos. You can see the route here. http://goo.gl/maps/RMcXA

This was another long day on the road. We arrive in San Carlos around 5:30. Jillian and I have found that a great way to pass the time is listening to Talk Radio. Our kids are normally in the back of the RV with the curtains zipped shut ( there are a set of heavy curtains that separate the driving area from the RV living space) so we can usually listen to Howard Stern with impunity. Now not all of Howard Stern is for me. I like to listen to the old repeats from Radio when it was just a little cleaner. We also like a lot of the interviews.

Favourite commercial on Howard Stern www.Fresh Balls.com. This is got to be the funniest commercial I have ever heard… check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ieomJnvig

Interview with Jim Breuer. Jim Breuer is a comedian and writer. He once was on Saturday night live. He does a wicked “Joe Pesci” imitation. You got to check it out.

http://www.trilulilu.ro/video-haioase/joe-pesci-show-with-robert-de-niro

After our arrival in San Carlos I took a quick spin. Here is my route. I started slow and then did a pretty good TT effort for most of it then a 15 minute cool down… It was hot. I really felt it at the end of the ride.

http://goo.gl/maps/X3FMf

After I got back we all got ready to go for dinner. We did a walk in to town. Got some cash from the bank and then came back toward our RV park where there is a restaurant called Charlies Rock. You can find out more at http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g151933-d1510047-Reviews-Charlie_s_Rock-San_Carlos_Northern_Mexico.html

It was a decent and typical Mexican seafood restaurant. Service., prices and food were good. Jillian and I shared the Mahi Mahi. NJ had the Mejillones and Adi had the Chicharron de pescado. Thankfully we were not on our bikes too far away so we found our way home quite easily. We then settled in and finished the first God Father movie. We start the second one tonight!

Day Seventeen – Seventeen days we have been living in this RV (minus the one day we stayed at our friends. We got up this morning around 7:00 AM. We awoke to a bit of an ANT infestation. It seemed that I parked the RV on an anthill yesterday so the little bastards were hell bent on revenge. We eventually got it all sorted and moved the RV to a site that was without an anthill. This has been a bit of a lazy day. We had aspirations of doing a bike ride and getting a nice breakfast. Instead, Jillian and I took a quick walk to the store, bought a few supplies, came back home and made a couple of ceasars and have been relaxing in the cool air conditioning ever since! Now that I have finished the blog and am up to date, we are getting ready to think about dinner.

So keep in touch with our blog folks… until next time

The Goralski Family powered by Bici Bucerias

PS… I think Blogs should be written and not edited that much. Whatever comes out of my head goes on to the paper or in this case the keyboard. I take a cursory look at post it. So mind the grammar and don’t expect any Pulitzer Prize material here ok?

Joel

PS, PS… 17 days in the RV???? I can’t believe it…

One more year in Mexico????

My god it is sinking in!

Mexico Or Bust! Our First Week

Well our last weekday came and went and now our first week on the road basically flew by and we are just barely half way there.   

The Bici Bucerias blog will follow us as we make our way from Calgary to our home in Bucerias Mexico. While we could have flown, we have decided to pack our stuff into our RV and take a three week vacation getting to our new life.

I have always wanted to do a long road trip down the west coast and now it becomes a reality. 

In three weeks we will arrive in La Paz in the Baja where we will connect with the ferry that will take us to Mazatlan which is a days drive from Bucerias. Once in Bucerias we settle in to our new life away from Calgary. 

Like any new adventure, there will; be challenges. The kids are excited but nervous at the same time. A new school, new friends and a NEW LANGUAGE! I do speak fluent spanish so that has been helpful for them and will make the transition a little easier for the entire family.

Another challenge is how do we remain in contact with our work back in Calgary. As some of you know, Jillian and I own Niklas Group and we are also partners in a company called NikHaus Inc. We have been building homes in the inner-city of Calgary for the past 12 years and that has been how we have earned our money and how we are able to sustain ourselves. Moving to Mexico presents a challenge for entrepreneurs like us. We are the face of our company and play an integral part in keeping the machine going.  Luckily for us, we have a good General Manager, awesome staff and amazing partners. While we still plan on being involved using technology, our roles are going to be somewhat diminished and we are super dependent on the team to keep things rolling.

Well the first week was a whirlwind. We left Calgary on Sunday July 21st and arrived in California on the edge or the Redwood Forrest yesterday late afternoon. It has been a great trip so far, but like any family, we have had our moments in our close quarters. While there has been some yelling, screaming, and crying, there have been a lot more moments of enjoying our time together as a family. Now, we have two more weeks left driving in this RV, so time will tell whether or not we can keep it up!

Here is the route of our trip so far   

Day One - We started off in Calgary of course and drove to a nice little campground called Mount Baker RV Park in  Cranbrook BC. Very conveniently located in the centre of town which was basically close to everything. They did not have much left for campsites but set us up in a funky little spot and also loaned us a long extension cord so that we could tie in to power. We had our first little accident there when I tried to back the little cargo trailer up and it ended up jackknifing. IT caused a little dent and busted a light on the RV. No bike ride for me on this day! However, I took some time an re-arranged our little travel trailer and I have to say it was a thing of beauty. I was able to get six of our bikes securely placed (forks locked in place), all of our luggage, bike parts, emergency equipment, bike tires and a whole lot of space to spare. The way I had originally set it up made it difficult to get the bikes in and out and boxes were not staying in place. 

 Day Two, Monday July 22nd, we left for Spokane Washington. We had a little delay at the border crossing due to some of the food we were carrying. My advice, leave all fruit at home. Everything else seems to be ok.  Once in Spokane we rolled up and stayed at The Alderwood RV Resort which was close to everything.This was a concrete RV park, meaning everything was paved and pristine. It was actually one of my favourite as it had a lot of nice shrubs and trees in and around the site that made it kind of homey. 

I did my first ride in Spokane. Really nice ride up past Nine Mile Falls. As a part of this blog I am also going to rate the DRIVERS and their courtesy towards cyclists. I have to say that Spokane was one of the most bike friendly places I have ridden outside of Europe. They get a 4.5/5.0 for driver courtesy towards cyclists! Here is my route  

Day Three  - Well this started off very frustrating. After breakfast I started packing up the bikes in the cargo trailer and they were not all fitting in. I could not get the 6th bike in its place! The problem was that when I re-arranged the trailer, I did so as I was packing the bikes and locking the forks in place. After I set one bike, I would set another that would require me to drill in the little apparatus that locks the forks. So essentially, this was a puzzle that required the exact placement of each bike when they are getting repacked. Well, I totally forgot the order and spent two hours in 100+ degree heat in a metal box, trying to figure it out when Jillian finally found a photo she took of me installing the locking mechanisms and low and behold it was the clue that solved the puzzle. 10 minutes later we were packed and on our way towards Mount Rainier. 

We ended up finding an adequate campground just off the main highway 7 miles outside of Packwood Washington called the Cascade Peaks Resort and Campground . Truth be told it was far from a "resort" and the campground itself was a little beat up. The pool was kind of sketchy and dirty looking so we avoided that. It did, however, have this cool tire zip line that the kids just loved and they have a riot playing on that. 

The next morning I went out for an amazing ride towards Mount Rainier. This was one of the best places that I have ever cycled. The climbing, while constant, was not too steep. The beauty was in the nature around me and the lack of traffic. I give the Washington drivers a 4/5 for courtesy. CLICK HERE FOR MY RID

DAY FOUR - After I got back from the big ride, we had a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg, packed up the bikes and we were off to Portland. In Portland we stayed at the Jantzen Beach RV Park which was conveniently located just outside the city centre. We were also walking distance to a Toys R Us which my daughter thought was amazing! The campground was well appointed with everything one needs as well as a great little pool for the kids. 

That night we went to see the Portland Timbers play against Coventry City which is an England Premiere League team. Before the game we grabbed a couple pizzas and beers at Eat Pizza, a local pizzeria right beside the Jen Weld Stadium. The Pizza was fresh, the staff friendly, and the beer cheap ($2.50 a bottle). We gave the overall experience around 3.5/5.  The soccer game was an exhibition with nothing really on the line. It made it a bit of a snoozer, but the fans were amazing. We were sitting just to the left of the section that had the Portland Timbers Army which kept the chants going non-stop from start to finish. 

 Day Five - We decided to make this a short day and drive in to Willamette Valley which is part of the Oregon wine country. We stayed a  nice RV park, appropriately called the Willamette Wine Country RV Park. Again, this park had everything we needed including a pool for the kids. Jillian and I took a 90 minute ride in the afternoon with the hope of doing a few tastings. However, there was a series of wine maker dinners going on so every winery we hit was either closed or open only for the dinner event! Nonetheless, we had a nice easy ride in the 100 degree heat! I was actually quite happy as my legs were still burning from the effort in Rainier!

Day Six  - This day took us to the West Coast Highway (101) where we made our way through Oregon towards California. We decided to spend the night in Bandon and by virtue of the name we chose the Bandon RV Park. It did not have a lot of extras, but full hook ups and friendly owners was all that we could ask for.

It was COLD in Bandon. The temperature was hovering around 13 degrees Celsius and there was a wicked wind. Nonetheless, we were not going to let that stop us from exploring. For our evening in Bandon, we decided to go out for dinner. We had a half mile walk down a hill from our RV site to the old town centre. It was cute and there was a boardwalk that we could explore and look out to the ocean.  We were all bundled up in hoodies and sweaters so it was tolerable. Our first choice for dinner was between a few small restaurants on the boardwalk that specialized in seafood. However, when we got there all of them were closing. Seems like things start to shut down at 5:00 in the booming metropolis of Bandon! Well we were inevitably saved by the Wheel House. The kids had fish and chips which was great. I had the deep fried oysters and a bowl of chowder. Jillian and the linguine and clams which was too watery. All in all it got a 3.5/5 for food and a 5/5 for service. Overall value was great. We had a bottle of wine and with four meals we were under $100.

I did not let the weather get me down so I was up at 6:00 AM the next day to go for a ride. The wind had died down and the temperature was around 12 degrees. I almost pulled the pin as I kept telling myself that it was too dam cold. I did not thing for bringing things like arm warmers or extra layers on this trip! However, the other inner-voice reminded me that I was born in Winnipeg and I normally cycle in Calgary, so suck it up butter cup and get your ass out there and ride! It was a short but steady ride on a beautiful country road from Bandon to just past Coquille. Nice pavement, rolling to flat ride with a couple of short climbs. I think maybe 7 cars passed me on that wonderful Saturday morning. The drivers were very courteous and got at 4.5 / 5.0I through in several 3 minute intervals holding 380 - 400 watts. Not sure why I put myself through that? I am on vacation. CLICK HERE FOR THE RIDE . When I got back I commented to Jillian how good I actually felt that morning and that I was surprised ho strong I was riding. She thought it must have been the deep fried oysters and wine. Hmmm... maybe I am on to something?

Day Seven - After I got back from the ride we went for Breakfast to a local join in Bandon. It took around 30 minutes for us to get the food and it was not very good. No sense talking about it!

After our poor choice in breakfast was complete, we took NJs mountain bike and my road bike in to the bike shop that was conveniently located next door to our RV park. NJ needed a  new break and mine needed some serious tuning up. The shop was called South Coast Bicycles  The owner was on hand and took super good care of us. We dropped the bikes off at 10:45 and then checked out of the RV park and went in to Bandon to do some further exploration. It was very chilly again so we had to bundle up. We walked along the boardwalk and checked out a local farmers market. We met a really nice lady who was selling toffee. We had a few samples and bought some of the delicious bars. It was also nice to have a chat with someone who was so warm and welcoming to us. After that we just killed time in the RV, had a couple of snacks and then we got a call around 3:00 that the bikes were ready. What service!  The Venge was running like a smooth machine and NJs breaks were fixed! 

We then headed south on the 101 and ended up at the Redwoods RV Resort . Now this feels like camping! We got a great spot nestled in the trees. We had a nice BBQ last night where I cooked a big ass ribeye for Jillian and me. The Ribeye, while not organic, was from a local producer. No steroids, antibiotics, free range, grass fead. It was delicious! The kids had organic hot dogs which was fine by me!

Day Eight - We decided to chill and stay another night at the same campground. We slept in, had breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee and then went on a nice family ride. We started off on a highway that looked like it would be quite. It was anything but. The drivers reminded me of the local rednecks in some of the outlying Alberta areas that have a hate on for cyclists. So while it is beautiful country out here and the cycling is picturesque, be warry of the secondary roads that have a lot of holiday traffic. Anway, we ended up turning around and went a different route. We found a nice little loop that was perfect for our family ride. We stopped several times to look at horses, little pigs and piglets, and a farm that had true free range chickens running around. We were simply amazed when we came across this 10 acre or so chicken farm that was only for the chickens. They had a big hen house in the middle and all this land to run around. They looked pretty dam happy to me.

One of the things that I was reminded about on this family ride is that cycling is and should be fun. My kids and wife were happy just doing a nice easy ride together. We had no traffic to deal with and an amazing countryside to look at. We spent the hour chatting, laughing, reminiscing and planning. We plan on doing more of these little rides on our journey and will make them a part of our life while we live in Mexico. CLICK HERE FOR OUR RIDE

Well.... tomorrow we depart for Napa! We plan or driving to Calistoga and will spend a few days there. The plan is to get up early and I will ride part of the way and the family will pick me up enroute! 

I hope to update this blog in another week!  

 

 

Riding In Mexico Is Both Rewarding and Safe

 Making a pit stop on one of my solo rides in Mexico

Making a pit stop on one of my solo rides in Mexico

We are getting so excited about the inaugural Bici Bucerias camp/tour in April. I really love riding in Mexico and am eager to not only lead some awesome rides, but also share the rewards, such as chilling on the beach with a nice cold beer after a hot day in the saddle.

Aside from relaxing at the beach, I'm quite eager to share some great culinary experiences as well. My family and I have been visiting the area of Nayarit for 8 years now. The one thing that really amazed me when we first set foot in Bucerias was the number of great restaurants that pepper the cobbled streets of this sleepy little Mexican town. Some restaurants have come and gone but some great places remain. For the more adventurous, we will be touring some of the best street taco vendors around. I can guarantee that you will be amazed.

A lot of people ask me what to expect when cycling in Mexico: "Is it safe?"

My answer is this: In my opinion it is as safe as riding in Canada, if not safer in some locations. There are some stretches of road that are narrow and a little rough with lots of winding corners. It is important to be aware of your surroundings, make gestures with the drivers coming up behind you (i.e. you are coming in to a blind corner and a car is approaching from the rear). I've found most drivers to be respectful and will actually wait until you wave them by before passing. Aside from these few sections of the routes, most of the riding will be free of traffic. While I normally ride alone when in Mexico, this tour will be fully supported with a tour leader and follow car. So rest assured that we will make your trip both safe and enjoyable.

– Joel Goralski