House For Rent
From The Air
Getting To Puerto
Riding a Bike in Puerto
Tomzap Visitor Comments
Tomzap Puerto Escondido
El Sol de la Costa "Puerto's Paper"
Barbara Schaffer Spanish Classes & Articles About Puerto
Money Exchange Rates
Surf Forcast 1
Surf Forcast 2
Home Page Zicatela House For Rent BOOKS
Riding a bike in Puerto is… ah… fun. Well not so much. But yeah it is. Or no it isn’t. Or it can be… sometimes. Riding around town is a little unsettling. You do have to be very careful. Even though drivers are some of the worst in the world, bike riders seem to be able to do alright if we stay alert. You better ride defensively or you could be in for a rude awakening. Having said that, I like riding my bike in Puerto. There are some mind bending hills and some very long down-hills where you never have to put on your brakes. I used to ride my bike east toward Pochutla and there was not much of a problem. I would watch for buses and big trucks that carry cement and try to pull over when I saw them coming if there was any traffic coming toward me but now there is much more traffic. While it is still not too bad if you keep an eye out it is a little more stressful these days. Because of this I have been forced to look for other routes. And there are a few of them. Especially for a mountain bike. One of my favorite rides is from above Zicatela on the highway towards El Centro and the other side of the mercado (Click here for map on Google Maps) and down to the University and then make a right. It turns to dirt and goes behind Puerto to Colonia La Union. No traffic at all. Up and down little hills over hill and dale.
Once you get to a sort of crossroads at La Union, or almost to La Union, you head toward the beach. After a little ways you can make a right hand turn and head to Loma Bonita (If you keep going toward the ocean you come out where the Adoquin comes out near Marinaro. All down-hill and no traffic and nice and the distance is not very far.) Loma Bonita is a … I want to say Hamlet or village, where there is not much more than a group of houses. Actually it is more than a group. There is no real church but there is a place where the church goers meet. There is a very small school. You get the idea. I have wondered why this place is even there. There doesn't seem to be any attraction. It is not really near enough to anyplace to be an extension or a suburb. It is just this little place that is there. There are some very small collections of houses/people along Colotepec River and I can understand how they could get there because there is a river. Rivers attract people. While there is water in Loma Bonita there is no real river. Whatever. It seems like a nice enough place and the people always wave and say buenas dias/tardes.
So to get there you have to negotiate some hills but nothing too difficult. The problem is you have to leave Loma Bonita. The hill you have to endure is… difficult. It is not really long but by this time, with the heat and distance I am a little tired. The hill is very slow. It feels like one inch at a time but it is really one foot at a time. It starts out as paved cobblestones and turns to powder. With sweat dripping off my chin and not looking to the future it really is one foot at a time. Hopefully there are no cows in the road (more on that later). Slowly slowly slowly I make my way. Very slowly. Very very slowly. Finally I make it to the top. Or it is not the top. It looks like the top from below but when you get to it, it is not the top. I would like to say that it flattens out enough to switch gears but by that time I am so ready to pass out that I don’t switch gears. I keep going as slow as I can so as to replenish that oxygen that has been depleted going up that insanely stupid hill. The ridiculous, why would they make me have to ride up it, hill. After a minute or so things are looking better and I switch gears to 2nd. Then 3rd and on up to where I’m traveling faster than the heard of cows that are in front of me. The first time I did this trip this year (I did it a couple times last year) the kid I was with told me I should be very careful of the cows. He told me that there is usually a bull with them and that the bull could make like “The Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona and charge. I heeded his caution until two other bike riders coming home from work rode right by us and the very dangerous cows moved out of their way and paid the bike riders no never mind. It was like they knew the drill; bike comes, move over. The cows moved over for these guys like they were in the slow lane on the 405 freeway in L.A. “To hell with this” I thought and rode on by and the kid blew by me right after I passed the Bull” (Do bulls have udders?). So this time, going through Loma Bonita by myself, all on my own, by myself with no smart ass kid who thinks he knows everything, I used caution but yelled at the “bull-less” cows and they moved out of the way and I puttered by them. Of course I let out the requisite “MOOOOOOOOOOOO. They looked at me as if I was nuts.
So after that climb it is down hill all the way to where the road hits another crossroads. You can either go toward “Colonia Lomas” or toward the Colotepec River. I, most of the time, go toward the Colotepec river. It is a little longer (about 3 kilometers) but it is a nice ride. Once you get to the river you head toward the ocean and ride thru a place (neither a hamlet nor a village) named La Bomba. This is the place where most of the east side of Puerto gets its water. There are about six big wells and pumps that pump the water up to holding tanks where it is distributed to the different colonias (It is much more complex than that but this is not about the water system of Puerto.). There are a couple old pump houses that are falling over because of the floods of Hurricanes Paulina and Rick. They built new pump houses next to the old ones but left the old ones. There is a hill from here and just about the time you are ready to give up you reach the top and then there is the wonderful down-hill to the highway that runs along the coast. What a beautiful thing it is. From here I head home and a dip in the pool and a siesta. I do another ride often or not often enough or too often depending on how I am feeling. It is a two shirt ride in that I take along an extra shirt to change into about half way through the agony. Thus the “two shirt ride”. This ride is from El Centro to San Pedro Mixtepec and back. (Here On Google Maps) The ride is all on the paved road but there is some traffic. The worst part of the traffic is out near the “gas” plant. Once you hit the University the traffic thins out and there is really no problem.
At first it seems nice and easy but soon it is up hill. A long up hill. A very long up hill. Up up up. Before the endless up hill is a shorter hill and a little downhill and through the hamlets of Los Limones and Maquil. After that it is a pretty long up hill that winds up the road where you are always hoping that the next turn will bring the top. But it doesn’t. Around every turn you can see that there is another turn about 100 feet higher. On and on it goes. And goes. And goes. (If you are a road bike rider and ride many miles at a time this hill is not really that long. For example if a person was to ride to Nopala there are much longer up hills.) Finally you get to the top and then it is down to San Pedro. This is all well and good except when you get to San Pedro you have to return. Right as you hit the outskirts of San Pedro there is a turnoff to La Reforma where there is a waterfall. La Reforma is about 15 kilometers from the turnoff and that is too far for me in one day (From El Centro to La Reforma and back.). You have to get a ride to the turnoff and get a ride back. Also the road to La Reforma is dirt and some pretty good sized hills (For that story see the next page.). San Pedro Mixtepec back to Puerto starts out as an uphill and when you reach the top it is down hill for a few kilometers with no braking needed. The traffic on this part is never very bad because you are riding at about the same pace as anybody driving until you come to the two small villages of Maquil and Los Limones. While there are no cows here there can be some dogs. Mostly all bark and no bite by you never know do you? It is good to get an early start on this ride because by the time you get to the top of the hill you get pretty hot. There are also some nice views along the way. Don’t forget two water bottles and some music. The extra shirt is nice to put on when you reach the top of the hill on the way back from San Pedro. People along the way are always smiling and I would guess they are wondering why some idiot is………..