Ensenada Bike Chronicles Part 1

By

Ramon Jimenez

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At the starting line,

where one side is asphalt and the other Pacific Ocean

the breeze and heat mix with anxiety.

We ready ourselves in fine road bikes,

fanny packs stuffed with granola

and fistfuls of almonds

our only sustenance for the 50 mile stretch.

The signal is given,

and everyone lifts off

I am ready to give it my all,

until my friend tells me to take it easy and take it slow.

showing me the unlucky bodies

that begin to trip, snag and roll a couple feet

from the starting point.

The ascent is a beautiful blue.

Children asking for candy and high fives.

The coolness of the morning still with us

But this is only the first 10-15 miles.

We leave the ocean behind

venturing into the Valley of Guadalupe,

where we fight to get to the top of “El Diablo,”

a massive climb with many meters of elevation.

It’s September and all is yellow.

The sun growing stronger as the day gets older and 1PM approaches.

Some are here to push themselves

and others are only here for the michis and wine tasting

Not too concerned with time or completion.

But we fly on in our two wheeled planes,

maneuvering through the many injured,

and the mysterious truck that flipped over into flames.

Perhaps, darker factions sending a message to those that dare cross them.

The only hope and way out at this point is the roller coaster like descent from the top,

where one small slip translates into the end forever.