The Rosarito Ensenada Fun Bike Ride is a 50 mile ride and the route takes you along the Pacific Cost and inland through Mexico’s countryside from Rosarito Beach to Ensenada. This is the funnest event I have ever cycled in. This was the first cycling tour I had ever signed up for. I wanted to travel with my bike and explore the great view long the cost in Mexico. This was the 34th anniversary of the ride and I had heard about it from other cyclists and family members that had done it. They all spoke about how much fun they had and about the tough climbs there was along the route. It didn’t take much convincing to get my two friends Hussein and Oswald to cycle it with me.
My wife, Celina (Hussein’s Girlfriend) and Diana (my cousin) traveled with Hussein and I and we checked in to our hotel the night before the ride. We didn’t want to wake up with a hang over so we keep the drinking to a minimum and got to bed early. The morning of the ride was a bit crazy because none of us were sure if Oswald was showing up. Oswald had come down with a stomach flu and had to work the morning after the ride. He didn’t travel to Mexico Friday night because he got out late. He was planning to wake up early the day of the ride and drive to Mexico just in time for the start of the ride. Everyone thought he was crazy and he would eventually just not go. Now I’ve known Oswald for a long time and he is not the type to throw money away. I told everyone If he registered for the event you better believe he will be here.
That morning my phone rang and sure enough it was Oswald telling me he was at the start line looking for me. I knew this guy wouldn’t let me down. We spoke for a bit but our calls kept getting dropped. Damn Sprint and their international service. I told him to meet me by the big Corona billboard, now that I think of it there must have been tons of those. But in the crowd of thousands of cyclist I could not see him.
With Oswald nowhere to be found Hussein and I started our adventure to Ensenada. Along the route there are plenty of locals cheering you on with cow bells to make noise. There are also kids screaming words of encouragement. Many cyclist carry candy to toss at the kids while riding. I filled up one of my jersey pockets with candy I got from the hotel but that ran out quick, next year I’ll take much more. Riders dress up in costumes so every now and then you’ll get passed by a Spiderman, the Mario brothers or Beetlejuice. One of the most creative costumes I saw was a group of four women and a man. The girls were dressed as road runners and the man would follow behind dressed as the Coyote. I’m going to have to think of a creative costume for next year.
When Hussein and I arrived at the first check station about 16 miles in we decided to try to find Oswald. We waited about an hour trying to spot him amongst the crowd of riders and could not spot him. Oh well he was on his own, we had waisted enough time and still had a lot of cycling to do. The route great, we road along the cost and the ocean breeze felt refreshing. We cycled through where you can smell the home cooked meals. When we made our way inland is where the challenging part of the ride came about. Cycling through mountains is challenging enough but here we had to do it in a crowd of hundreds of cyclists around you. Keep in mind that not all who ride and experienced riders. Some have never trained for this type of challenge.
In Mexico they have a hill that they have named “E l Tigre” The tiger. This is a 2 mile hill at about 8 degrees and is the toughest part of the ride. Remember I told you about the cyclists who never ride? this is where they start to get in your way. While you cycle up hill you have to be aware of your surroundings. There was an incident where a cyclist in front of me lost his balance and almost ran right into me, luckily I was able to swerve around him and keep my pace. Other cyclists could not climb the hills and would just fall right over in front of you. some cyclist choose not to attempt the hill and walk their bike to the top. I’m proud that I was able to pedal every inch of El Tigre and it felt great to reach the top.
I’ll be going back next year but this time I’ll be joined by my wife who has decided to cycle with me.
If you’re wondering what happened to Oswald he cycled the 50 miles alone. He had bike failure shortly after El Tigre and had to ride at a slower pace the rest of the way. We ended up crossing the finish line about 5 minutes apart. The three of us must have been cycling close together the whole time and didn’t realize it.