In spite of my unfounded concerns about traveling to and in Mexico, I could not resist a supported bicycle trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. Turns out my concerns were indeed unfounded and unnecessary.
Arriving in Mexico via Cancun (and on our bikes next morning out of that chaos), I was impressed with the level of COVID awareness and enforcement absolutely everywhere. During my 9 days’ adventure, every single indoor location (and some outdoor as well) required masks, temperature taking and hand cleaning. Not one local or tourist took issue with the rules.
The fun began upon arrival at our hotel in Cancun, meeting my fellow travelers all from US and one from Canada. It was evident right away, even with our varying interests, we were all up for the adventure of riding mostly low traffic back roads, pot hole infested dirt roads, and averaging 40 or so miles per day in the heat and humidity.
Our organizers and all-around cat-herders: Kurt (from Portland OR), Marie, originally from France but long-time resident guide and Maya expert), Alex our patient van driver extraordinaire as well as rest stop concierge and bike wrangler, and Renee our sort of “unofficial” guide and all around support (Kurt’s wife and just not officially guiding on this tour).
Because we were usually in motion from sunrise to sunset, then dining, then dropping into blissful sleep, I didn't do a day-by-day narrative. I just was too tired to write much stuff down. The good kind of tired!
I was particularly excited about this trip as I’m very interested in the Maya and had visited several ruins in the past. Our first stop was Uxmal, where Marie demonstrated her thorough knowledge of the ruins and unbelievably, could recite the history of the rulers and pronounce their names. Thus began my daily peppering of questions. No doubt my tour buddies were just wishing to get out of the sun and sit down with a beer.
In the coming days, we rode to Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, Coba, Tulum, and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve. Along the way, we swam in a couple of cenotes, did a lazy float (wearing life jackets on our bums; see photos) down a beautiful river. We spent two nights in Valladolid, one of the most historic cities in the Yucatan.
We stayed in many historic hotels, ate regional specialties, and rode along the western coast of Cozumel; the sea breeze and even the headwinds were welcome.
Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the cars and traffic. On the back roads, cars approaching from either in front or behind (and we were pretty spread out), flipped on their flashers and proceeded with much respect and caution in passing. Absolutely no honking, gunning engines, or throwing stuff from their windows. We did encounter a few that stopped to take photos or give us a thumbs up. On the occasional wide highway with plenty of shoulder, cars and trucks gave us a wide berth.
Kurt was a life-saver when midway through our trip, the rules for returning to the US via air changed. He figured it all out, and got us to the right place at the right time to get our COVID tests.
It was a wonderful way to start the beginning of winter in the PNW and the end of 2021, by going someplace hot. Click here to find out more about the tour company Bicycle Adventures.
Next up self supported bike tour – Chicago-Cincinnati-Cleveland and beyond.
Viva Mexico! Viva Bicycle Adventures!
One of our "tribe", Peter, created this cool YouTube video. Click here to view!
Click here to view another of Peter's fun YouTube videos.