In May 2011, my mom, our friend Wendy and I set out in a car packed to the brim with all our camping, cooking, cycling and other miscellaneous gear. We were headed to The Northen Oregon border – the town of Astoria, to begin our bicycling trip down to the Mexico Border.
The plan was that I would ride the full distance everyday, and my mom and Wendy would split the distance, each cycling and driving half. I wanted to cycle the whole way to the Mexico Border…. no cutting corners, no miles missed, I wanted to ride the whole way. This lasted for about 5/6 days or 400km… My knees started to hurt, and by the time we got to Coos Bay, it was too much. I could barely walk, and every downstroke on the bike killed me. I had succumb to the injuries related to undertaking this kind of adventure without training. Also later I came to blame my clip-in pedals which forced one of my feet into an unnatural position – put pressure on my knee I wasn’t used to.
So I started cycling only sporadically, letting Wendy and my mom share the majority of the riding while I wallowed in self-pity… for awhile anyway. There was readjusting of goals, and swallowing of pride, and soon I got excited again about cycling “just some of the way to Mexico”. I just had to recover first. In San Franciso, I saw a very good physio who helped set me on the path to recovery – and bought a roller, and spent a week in the city, cycling little, and when I did, in runners only. By the time we left San Francisco (this is also where Wendy left us, taking the train home), I was ready to go. My mom and I shared the day – half cycling and half driving…. my mom always strategically giving me the hilly parts.
And like this we made our way to San Diego, and to the National Border Field State Park – where we looked through the fence at the Tijuana Bull Ring – and although neither of us could claim to have ridden all the way to the Mexican Border, we both shone with pride, not only for ourselves, but for each other, to have shared such an accomplishment.