Right now I’m in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I crossed the border bridge yesterday on my bike in the rain. It almost never rains here—especially not at this time of year—but we managed two get two days nonstop.
I was exhausted. I left New Orleans around 9 am on Tuesday in a rental car, the bike in the back. That night I reached Corpus Christi where I had dinner with friends and grabbed a few hours’ sleep. I left before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, driving onward to Laredo, TX.
There I spent a long day working on my laptop at a motel. I raced to take care of last minute preparations. I got less than a full night’s sleep, but the next morning I set off on bicycle.
It felt good to cross an international border on a bicycle, a first for me. The border guards on the Mexico side didn’t search me, instead expressing shock and interest in the plan to bike to Yucatán—nearly 2,000 miles. The immigration officials were similar, and very friendly.
Then I bicycled over and met a local, Scotch, who had offered to put me up for a night. I met him at his sushi restaurant, Mr. Rollo. He’s very warm and easygoing, a bright businessman who has built up his two restaurants, his bar, and his girlfriend’s hair salon from nothing. We went to his house and I dropped off my bike, then he helped me get a new SIM card so my phone will work in Mexico. We ate at Mr. Rollo and later had dinner with his family at his house, conversing in two languages.
Today is a little slower paced. Pixi arrived this morning on her bicycle. I met her at the border bridge and led her over to Scotch’s house. Later, my friend Ernest White II will arrive—via flights and taxis, not bicycles—to act as our support. He’ll rent a car and follow us for the next three days.
So the plan is this. Tomorrrow we roll out at dawn, Pixi and me on bikes and Ernest behind us in the car. If we have a mechanical problem or other delay, Ernest can pick us up so we’re off the road before dark—a key part of safety in this area. For the first three nights, we’ll stay in hotels rather than camping.
As a further precaution, a friend stateside has my Find My iPhone login and will be able to report us missing—along with our exact last known location—if we miss any of our nightly checkins those first three nights.
Two other cyclists will join us within a week, but are running too late for the appointed start date. So it’s just the three of us tomorrow, but I feel good about our little group. It is a small Fellowship, perhaps, but one that I believe can go a very long way.
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