“For the first time in two months of riding, I am scared. Today we can’t find any place for a rest. The heat is suffocating, inescapable. With the sun almost directly overhead, the towering Cardon cactuses throw a shadow no bigger than a dinner plate. We sit for a while in the partial shade of a small bush, sweating. When I walk up to the road to get water off the bikes, I discover a rattlesnake coiled beneath my framebag. “Even the snakes are trying to get out of the sun,” comments Alice on my return.
We are nearing the tropics on the Baja Divide and have ridden the majority of the route, but the heat and humidity are combining to create impossible riding conditions for us as a family. We start early each morning, riding by headlamp until the sun comes up. We take long siestas in the mid-day heat. We drink quart after quart of water, but it is never enough.
Back on the bikes we climb the final distance to a pass, riding where we can, and pushing when the track is covered by huge rocks. Gazing down at the Sea of Cortez, we can see our next resupply at the beach community of San Evaristo. The capital city of La Paz is in the hazy distance to our right. The end of our Baja ride is in view, we just don’t know it yet.”
The Clark Family: Koby, Dan, Alice, and Ava Fei
Cycling has been part of our life since our kids were born. When they were babies, cycling provided us a time-crunched workout between diaper changes. But these were solitary missions, not family adventures. Our cycling took on a new dimension in 2014 when we left our home and jobs and flew to the tip of South America for our first bike trip as a family. During our eight-month ride, north along the Andes of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia we discovered the freedom that bikes and an open itinerary allow. We experienced the peace and solitude of roads less traveled, strengthened our family bonds, and were welcomed into a larger family of cyclists from around the world – our “Familia Ciclista.” To learn more about the Clark family’s adventures or to see photos and videos from their trips, check out their blog Simply Propelled.