[11/11/28~12/01(D+92) Mexico] You can’t buy it with money.

28th Nov 2011

The longest distance is 127  km so far. But today I have to ride 140 km(90 mi) from Hermosillo to Guaymas because there is no town between cities. So I wake up at 5:30 am and start at 6:40 am.


When I ride over 60 km (37 mi), I am very nervous and stressful because the cars come too close to me. I am in the desert, so I yell and grip the handlebars very tightly. That help me a lot. After I overcome my nervousness, I am not afraid anymore. I think it’s really important how one thinks.
I don’t like to ride in the dark, so I ride hard in the morning. Fortunately, it is very flat and so my riding is very easy. I usually rode over 80 km (50 mi) each day in the US. But I’ve already ridden over 90 km (62 mi) this morning. It’s a new record.
I eat burros which is traditional Mexican food. 24 Pesos is $2 in the US. Mexico also uses the ‘$’  symbol,  but it never means a dollar in Mexico as it does in the US.  When I begin to ride again, I find that I am very exhausted. I rode too hard in the morning. So, I rest for an hour. I have to keep resting every hour because I lost my balance today. I am still a beginner.


Fortunately, I finish riding to Guaymas shortly after 5 pm. I rode over 140 km (88 mi) today and it is a new record!! But I became lost and I couldn’t find my host’s home. I find myself between some Mexican old houses while riding in the dark. I become very nervous and try to overcome it.  A Mexican person helps me to call my host and soon afterwards I meet my host. I am enjoying a good meal with the host. However, my host needs to go to Hermosillo to work for a few days. So, almost as soon as I say “hello”, I will say “good-bye” to her in a few hours. Julie, who works as a French teacher, is also staying at my host’s home. I talk with her more after saying good-bye to my host.


29th Nov 2011

Julie is from France and she teaches French in Mexico. When she goes to work, I rest like the cat in the above picture.


My host has four cats and two dogs. She found them along the road and adopted them. I am as lazy today as her cats in the above pictures.


30th Nov 2011

The next day, Catherine (who is host’s friend), shows Julie and I San Carlos which is near Guaymas. I understand that many North Americans live here after retiring. I also feel something different-I hear more English.


Bike travel is not always difficult.


Some times, Bike traveler also sits in front of the beach and drink a beer and eat the Mexican food with Mexican music


Crabs with avocados and tomatoes. So yummy!


San Carlos is 20 minutes from Guaymas by car. If I didn’t meet Catherine, I would have missed a beautiful beach.


A peaceful day.


Many people who live in San Carlos have two houses, one in the US and another in Mexico. They come to San Carlos when it becomes too cold. But Catherine moved from the US 8 years ago. She is from France, but husband is from the US.


This scene is so amazing. It looks like that the water in the swimming pool is connected with the sea. It is such a fantastic building.


It’s my first time to see the ocean alongside a desert. I am very interested to see it.


“Te amo” means “I love you” in Spanish. Oly is someone’s name.  I don’t know who is Oly, but I am jealous!!!


Thanks to Catherine, I am having a peaceful day!


Julies’s students want to meet me. So I follow her to school where she teaches. Julie is on the lower left in the picture. Two of her students are standing behind her. They ask about my travels, and I ask them about Mexico. I asked one of them, since the Mexican people are so friendly, why do their garages and windows have steel bars? She says that it is because many people are very poor, so there are many thieves. Finally, I understand. Although there are many thieves, the Mexican people are friendly! The two students are worried about the Mexican future. But they tell me that the Mexican people are very happy and always laughing. I think that’s true. I’ve seen so many them smiling and laughing.


1st Nov 2011

I again become lost in the morning when I try to get out of the city. I have to ride over 130 km (81 mi) and it is not easy ride for me for one day. Although I start riding early in the morning, I lose too much time because I am lost. Also, it is drizzling this morning, so I have to cover my things so that they do not become wet. Unfortunately, my front rack is broken because of rough terrain. The highway is usually well paved, but towns are not. When I get out of the town, I can smell the ocean and there is not any more fog.


My front left rack is totally broken this morning. And there is a strong wind that makes riding more difficult. I also find two bent spokes. If you look at the lower part of the picture, you can see a bent spoke in my front wheel. I try to keep going with my broken front left rack, but a strong wind and not enough time to ride over 130 km in one day prevents me. I also find that my left pannier hits spokes every times the front wheel turns. I decide not to ride anymore today. If I keep going, then the situation will become worse. I am stuck on the road. There is no choice except to hitchhike.
I crossed Canada by hitchhiking for 4 months. But I am not sure if I can also do it in Mexico. I know a married couple who is traveling in Mexico by bike and they also hitchhike. So, I think I can also do it. I try to hitchhike, but it is not easy. I know a few tips about hitchhiking. The most important tip is the place a person stand. However, the place where I stand is not good for a car to stop. But I can’t keep going because of my broken left front rack, my bent spokes, strong wind and not enough time. I wait almost for 30 minutes before I get a ride from a Mexican driver. The driver’s name is Rafael.


Thanks to Rafael, I arrive early in Obregon. Also, he brings me to a bike shop and they change 2 spokes for 10 Pesos ($0.8). Rafael says that his friend can fix my front rack for free, but I will have to buy special material for the repairs. So, we go to the shop to buy the special material. However, the man in the above picture gives the special material to me for free!!


In the above picture is Rafael’s friend. He is an engineer. When Rafael tells me that his friend can make a new front rack, I can’t imagine it. They begin to make a new rack like the other rack which is not broken. The engineer is so nice.  First, he makes the head of the rack.


The one on the left in the picture is the beginnings of a new rack. They use my old rack as the pattern. It is pictured on the right.


He heats the support portion for the rack being made.


He builds the support first by hammering it flat, and then drills a hole.


He is welding everything together. Rafael is on the left in the picture, and the excellent engineer is one the right.


I am surprised that they also paint it!!!!! How perfect!!!


They also install the new rack on my bike!! The rack on the left is 100% hand-made.  The one on the right is from the factory. They both look alike. They tell me that although the new one is 100% hand-made, it is stronger than the factory one.
You can never  buy it in the world with money. I do not agree that we can buy anything with money. I am trying to find what we can’t buy with money. This is another reason why I am on the road.


These are my new awesome Mexican friends. They made the most perfect rack in the world for my bike. My Mexican friends, I thank you!!!!


Bill, Thank you for editing this post.
English is not my first language. If you find any mistakes (such as words being used out of context, grammar, syntax, etc), please let me know. Thanks

  1. You are awesome… the world needs more real people like you, it brings the best in man behavior. I am so glad you liked my friend Catherine. I shall spread the news of your venture around the universe. I am humbled by your enterprise. Keep on going…you’ll see. Danielle

  2. Mexican Engineering I do not kid you when I say it’s one of the best in the world! Happy cycling..I am so eager to know how you will see the south a WHOLE OTHER WORLD in Mexico.

  3. Hi Jin, I’m digging your old journal here because your courage and trip is inspiring me in a big-meaningful way and I wonder how you started the journey. This post made me cry – I cried of their kindness and generosity. May God always taking care of Rafael and his friends and you with your adventure. Amen.

    Greetings from Borneo.

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