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Biking! It’s all the rage! Part II (Did you miss Part I?)
“In talking seriously about cycling as a sport,” I remarked to Roberto, President of the local cycling club Pelicanos de Peñasco, “What is it that you do and where can you be contacted?”
“Well, we can be contacted through our Facebook page Pelícanos de Peñasco,” he explained, “I know it may seem like it’s not updated, but we’re there. We’re a road and mountain biking group, but mostly mountain biking.”
“Peñasco is good for mountain biking,” he reflects, “You see, there’s the Cerro de la Ballena, Las Conchas, La Cholla…there’s a route in the Pinacate, which is very beautiful but also demanding.”
What do you have to do to join?
“Just send us a message there, send us your questions and we’ll touch base as to when you want to start. As simple as that,” he notes.
Though it doesn’t seem like it, I still need to ask, is it an expensive sport?
“Yes, yes it is, particularly if you really want to get into it,” he clarifies. “A good bicycle that withstands the rhythm can cost around $1000 to $1500 US, plus the equipment. If you ride every day, or four or five days a week, you’re putting on about 50 KM each time and that can be wearing here with the sand, salt, and humidity.”
“But, don’t let that scare you off. If you’re just starting off, you’re not going to get a really expensive bike that you toss in the garage after a week because you’re not into it… You can start with one of the bikes they sell at Coppel or Sam’s and grow from there, as with everything. You just have to keep in mind the wear and tear on the equipment.”
And how should one go about choosing one?
“Well, for mountain bikes we can provide advice, particularly about fixing it and changing certain things, like the seat. If you don’t have a bike yet, we can also help you pick one because the height of the bike is important, as well as the distance between the seat and pedal so that the back’s in a good position. There are little things that come with practice and time.”
“Normally, one has to go to work around 9 a.m., so in order to get a good ride in you have to get up around 5:30 a.m., go out at 6, end your ride, come back at 8 or a little before, give the bike a quick clean or a little maintenance which is basic to ensure it lasts, then get ready and rush off to work. Or maybe it’s better to ride in the afternoon.”
“The thing is it’s about three hours (or more if you can) of dedication, and it’s worth it if it’s something you really like.”
Do you have a rigorous time for setting out, or training, like Monday, Wednesday and Friday?
“No, go figure, we’re a group and we help each other out and all, but we’re not a school. Since we’re friends, we all talk, and sometimes with other groups, to see when we can go, who can go, etc; some go in the morning and others in the afternoon. Basically we are three groups: Salvador Cabrales’ group, La Roca, and us the Pelicanos. Salvador’s group is more on the roads and we’re more mountain biking, but we combine.”
“If we don’t have any competitions coming up, we all coach each other. Like Aracely, she just entered the group recently and boom! She made it up on the podium at a race in Cabora. Obviously it was a lot of work, but she put in all the kilometers, and us along with her. Let’s go in the morning! Ok, let’s go! Let’s go in the afternoon! Ok, let’s go! Now let’s go over here, let’s go over there…”
“There are some weekends we take on longer routes, such as the Pinacate, and we’ll even have a picnic; we take our food, rest, chat. An outing with friends can take up to 6 hours, but it’s really calm.”
“I don’t want to scare you off in talking about time, but the hours slip by like water,” He sits up on the edge of the seat, “Imagine the adrenaline! Here in the city you can ride about 15 km per hour, maybe 20 max, but in our sphere we give it our all and can reach speeds of up to 30 or 50 km…on an incline or a flat stretch. It’s fascinating and completely different from the urban environment!”
I heard or read somewhere that you’ve got something coming up?
“Yes,” he chuckles, “We want to organize an event for June 29th, a cycling competition here in Peñasco. It will be very interesting for whoever wants to participate. It’s a fully family affair. We’re going to have trophies, t-shirts, hamburgers from Erick’s (who’s a friend, sponsor and cyclist). It’s going to be great! When we put out publicity, I’ll share it so you can participate.”
He smiled and I laughed, both out of embarrassment and eagerness. “No, I’m not in condition,” I replied between nervous laughter.
“It doesn’t matter, you get into it. Plus, the thing is just to end in whatever time it takes to do it, there’s no rush. It’s the sense of satisfaction of finishing the race that makes you want to improve.”
Is there a cost to register, or to take part?
“For the race, yes, but to be in the group no since we are basically bike enthusiasts and friends. Or rather, since we put in all our heart and soul, the only thing we ask in exchange is for the same passion.”