Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 10 - Toluca

We didn't set out for Toluca this morning. We set out for Valle de Bravo via what looked like a good, albeit minor, highway. We started to doubt when we ran out of paved road at around 10,000 feet. I stopped around 10,700 feet while the rain came down. We decided to load the bike and drive up a ways to see if the road got any better. We climbed to 12,000 feet in a little more than four miles and found that at some point a landslide had completely wiped the road out. If you check out the gps map I tweeted, you'll see we just stop at 3,300 meters. We were skirting the Nevada de Toluca, an inactive volcano. So much for the road less travelled.

Now our only option for trustworthy roads on the map was to go all the way back to Ixtapan de la Sal and head north to Toluca. I road 16 miles today. That plus the 10 miles back to Ixtapan de la Sal just about got me to Toluca. With 16 miles to go into a monster city, we decided to drive in and find a place to eat first. That done, we headed out again to presumably pick up where I had left off mileage wise. That's when the downpour came again. So....I decided to call it a day. I won't go back to start over. Once I started calculating the mileage, I think I'll do tomorrow what I was going to do in two days had I made it to Valle de Bravo via the "short cut."

All in all, today was very frustrating. Cold, wet, unpaved roads, not eating anything substantial until 5 p.m., 4,077 feet of climbing in 16 miles. And yes, it was 16 miles, the gps stopped tracking over a certain stretch of road. The official mileage for today is off my bicycle computer. Tomorrow has got to be better.

Tomorrow's destination - who knows? I was hoping to make it to Tuxpan on the Toluca-Morelia highway by tomorrow. It's just past Zitacuaro, which was the original stop, but since we have contacts in Tuxpan, we thought we could make it. Now I'm not even going to make any promises. Today I challenged the Nevada de Toluca and the Nevada de Toluca won.
By the way, I was at 10,723 feet when I finished. If each mile on the ground is selling for $25, then how much would two vertical miles be worth?

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