We started 220ft below sea level in a town called Brawley and were facing a gargantuan climb over a 3,250ft mountain pass into Jacumba. Now, this may not sound as impressive as our previous climbs to over 8,200ft, but today we achieved our greatest net climb of 2,930ft over a distance of just over 70 miles. We’ve put the graph in the photo gallery along with a couple of cool photos from the pass.
It was tough today, especially after yesterday’s 90-mile trip. Our legs were shot; and mustering up the energy, let alone the will, to brave another 6 hr workout (8 hrs in the saddle) in searing 85°C temperatures was no mean feat. Our first break was in El Centro, where we stopped at The Finish Line bike shop to stock up with inner tubes and C02 canisters. Carlos was very helpful and gave us a spare inner, ‘gratis’. Thanks Carlos!
Feeling a lot more confident that we could now cope with any ‘rubber’ mishaps, we cycled against the wind for 20+ miles before Kat’s rear decided to lose air very quickly. The problem with punctures is that they take an average of 30 minutes out of the ride, which is a right pain in the rear when you still have 30 miles of climbing to do before the suns sets …anyway it was all fixed and we struggled through. And just as we began the ‘meat’ of the Mountain Pass climb, 6hrs 15mins into the ride and thinking everything was ‘good in da hood’, Trusty decided to get stuck in 3rd gear. Anthony wasn’t happy as he put his body through a tortuous 2 hours.
It was 7:30pm and dark when we coasted into the hotel, which is literally on the Mexican border (we saw the “wall” as we cycled in this evening – yes, it does exist). Fortunately the restaurant was still open and after a quick freshen up we had a great meal …Mexican of course, and met two great women, Mo & Denise.
…more climbing tomorrow