Before starting the review of this great ride I want to make special acknowledgments:
first to the guys from Cozumel, thank you for your hospitality and all the support we received for the organization and throughout the ride, as well as sharing with us those great trails that everyone liked. Beto, for the patience you have to have to organize an event of this type as it was quite complicated as from finding trails and locations to the general organization, but we all enjoyed it to the fullest as a couple of kids.
And the whole group in general, regardless of the difficulty of the road, weather, fatigue and discomfort (water, rain, sand, mud, cold, hungry and a sleepless night) thank you all for demonstrate perseverance and passion for the sport that has made us to form something special .
MTB CANCUN & RIVIERA MAYA thank you all.
Great to see so many biker getting together in Playa del Carmen anxious to ride at Cozumel. While Charly was waiting for us at Cozumel, we were parking our cars, taking down bikes and making the last preparations to leave for the much talked about place. A unmistakable bunch of MTBers as we went on our way to the boat that would take us to our final destination.
Arriving at the dock, we already had our first flat tire and we also missed the boat. No problem. We’ll take the next one and in the meanwhile lets count how many we are to see if we can get a group discount. 1, 3, 45, 32…total disaster. We had to form a line of men and women to know how many we are in total. Good at biking, not so good at counting . Thanks to Beto his excellent public relations skills, we got our discount.
Finally it was time to board the ship. Which was not that easy as there where to many bikes and a brilliant sailor had the great idea to just throw our bikes on a big pile. Don’t mess with our bikes!
Luis his speedometer ended up at the bottom of the deep blue sea. The sailor went almost after it (not out of his own free will).
We took charge and organized our precious babies and removed them from the hands of the clumsy sailors.
At last we set sail. Photos being taken, jokes flying around. Excited like kids going on a fieldtrip.
After 40 minutes we arrived at Cozumel. We took our things and headed to what would be our headquarters this weekend. It started to rain, just a soft rain…but that was only a small hint of what was still to come.
We crossed the city in a big line of MTBers, drawing the stares of the locals realizing that something unusual was happening: MTB Cancun & Riviera Maya was present on their island.
The camping site was nice. There were some small huts and other brought tents. After putting up the tents which we dedicated some times to demonstrating our skills in different disciplines, like a foosball tournament. Laughter all over.
The night went on, small groups were organized to go to dinner or last minute shopping and some just preferred to relax, talked, laughed and played. I can say it was a wonderful night which was a bit of everything. A small night ride with nightly adventures, playing cards, eating and laughing.
The night belonged to us.
Little by little silence took over the camp when everyone went to their tents to get some sleep. But the silence did not last long….a concert of thunder and lightning, the sound of rain, trees and the plastic of our tents took over the camp. Some were fast asleep and did not notice until the rain made a small swimming pool of their tent. For them it was a long night.
Early in the morning the sun came out and we heard the melodious voice of Charly (we think that in another life time he was a rooster at a farm) screaming at the top of his lungs “levaantenseeee yaaa” (get up in Spanish). One by one we came out of our hiding place, some more rested than others. Some faces of “I miss one more hour”. But despite of the, for some, long sleepless night, we all prepared ourselves like if we were going to war. Backpacks, gloves, helmets, tools, supplies, water, Gatorade, fruit bars…..
We took off to make a quick stop at a small shop to get some more supplies. It started again to pour with rain which made our skin crawl from the cold. Desperately waiting for the ones buying, the minutes seemed like hours. Don’t get me wrong, we love rain. Riding with rain, getting dirty, slippery roads….A lot of faces started to glow of excitement. And the sleepy ones, now really woke up.
A good way to start the day.
Over a very muddy single track, we arrived at the island of passion. We were soaked and more dirty than ever (but what an amazing way to ride).
We went to another trail, a perfect trail, full of curves, ups and downs. The fun had begun. Repeating the same part several times, feeling the adrenaline.
The crazy ones went up front, trying to beat the trail, treacherous slippery puddles. Some became victims of the slippery curves or the deep puddles.
We arrived at the beach. Relaxed a bit, stretched, and rinsed of the dirt. This first part was a total success!
Back in the camp some decided it was enough and stayed to enjoy the camp. Others of the group got ready for a second battle with the road and weather ….
We were already tired , sore and hungry, even after eating, and a bit beaten up. But still we did not have enough. We went on our way to San Gervasio, an ancient Mayan pantheon.
Pedaling through sacred Maya land, the heart of Cozumel. A long straight road which for some seemed never ending. We reached the entrance of the village, all seemed according to plan until we arrived at our next single track. A real test of willpower, very complicated and aggressive and yet we were there in the middle of the island, having the time of our lives.
Muddy and tired. We turned into explorers and entered into the most beautiful track, all green, a grassy carpet, a twisty single track, wet trees, the smell of rain like a freshly watered garden. A trail inviting us to come in. The place felt full of energy leading to the Ancient Mayan pantheon. Centuries old paths. Coming out of there it was like we’ve discovered fountain of youth, joy that showed on the faces of all.
It started to rain again and we headed back to camp to gather our stuff and say goodbye to our Cozumel friends.
The group which started out as 40 happy cyclists, fresh and clean, now returned as a group of very tired and dirty cyclist, with 100 km on their speedometer, but still extremely happy and satisfied.
We all gave our best and are proud to be part of this amazing group.
But the adventure does not end here, we still had to go back by boat…. the storm shook the boat and although we were protected, the rain still left us wet and muddy. The return trip was intense … Although we are adventurers, the cold and rain will make anyone shiver. Finally we arrived at the port where things weren’t any different. Raining like crazy and a very strong wind. Until finally Chaac (Mayan God of the water) decided it was enough and the rain and wind lay down. We got on our bikes and finished the last part of our trip to get to our cars.
With a great sense of satisfaction we arrived at our cars….It hasn’t been easy, we needed a few days to recover but as the group of real MTBers and fools that we are, we just hope we can repeat . As it was amazing!