We drove to the edge of Toluca looking for the toll road because we had been told it would cut time and distance off the trip, but as we got up on it, we saw a sign that said "no cyclists." Not to be deterred (because I figured they were talking about cyclists who had support cars behind them), I got on the bike and started to ride. I didn't even get half a mile down the road when a highway official pulled over in front of me and told me I couldn't ride on that road. He told me where to get off on the regular highway six miles up the road, but told me, "I swear it, if you ride on these roads, something is going to happen. People here don't know how to drive."
That's when I told him I had made it all the way from Zihuatanejo to Toluca and so far, so good.
So far, so good.
It was a wonderful ride although once again, I spent a lot of time climbing. I finally got to the pass somewhere just before the border between Mexico State and Michoacán. As I got ready for the descent, I put another layer of clothing on because it was already cold and I was chilled. Not too far into the descent it started to rain. I waited until the worst stopped and took off and got completely soaked. Wet and cold, I rolled into Zitacuaro where I changed in the bathroom at the grocery store where we restocked and killed a little time before continuing on to Tuxpan, where members of the local Presbyterian church were waiting for me with banners and signs and a half dozen kids on bikes. A number of cars escorted us to the church where I told them about the home for abandoned seniors we want to construct in Zihuatanejo and they sang and prayed for us.
They also supported the project by buying a number of t-shirts.
After we took photos and stood around talking, they suggested we climb to the top of the local hill to see the view. A thousand steps later, we were at the top of the hill overlooking the town. What a view!
I'm paying for the climb now. 60 miles cycling and 1,000 steps up and 1,000 down. What a day! I have to say that the love and welcome shown by the members of Iglesia "Jesucristo Vive" church was the encouragement I needed to keep going. This was the best stop by far. Thank you church! Once again, you make me so happy to be a part of the family. Thank you, Kiki and mom and Olivia and so many more for such a wonderful reception!